Embarrassing moments are hard to forget. Scratch that. They’re impossible to forget. Etched in our minds are those moments of sheer horror when we say or do something we can never get back. Still waiting on God to answer my prayer for an “undo” or “delete” button. Eventually, those petrifying memories can become really funny and cringe-worthy stories we tell our friends. Sometimes.
Have you ever gone through a whole a day with spinach in your teeth and didn’t know it till the evening when you finally smiled at yourself in the mirror? Of course, it’s always those days when we saw a ton of people, and it’s always something green. WHY?
You look at yourself and realize you have no real friends. Not one. Not a single person brave enough to gently and kindly say, “Hey, Steph. You really got to look in the mirror.” Then the thought sinks in that everyone probably just felt too embarrassed for you to say anything at all. Ouch.
Spinach in your teeth isn’t really a big deal. But what if you had spinach in your teeth, your hair was an absolute mess, your shirt was on backwards and you had mismatching shoes? Better yet, what if, despite your obvious lack of competency, your pals STILL withheld saying anything? Or worse yet, you look in the mirror, see the atrocity yourself, but do nothing about it? Realistically, you probably wouldn’t let it get that out of hand, and hopefully, at that point, your family and friends would set up an intervention.
When it comes to our physical appearance, we as women often put a lot of effort into looking decent and presentable. We spend countless hours in front of a mirror, and a lot of money on cosmetics and clothes to make sure we look good on the outside. We may even spend a fair amount of time exercising to look and feel good physically. But an area that can easily go unnoticed and unchecked is our hearts.
In the first chapter of James, the Apostle urges believers to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. He goes on to say that if you are a hearer and not a doer, you are like a person who looks in a mirror, sees himself, and immediately forgets what he looks like.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. James 1:22-24
This passage is talking about the Word of God. The Bible is a mirror for our hearts. Each time we enter the presence of the Lord and we read Scripture, it reveals what needs to be corrected in our lives. He continues on in the passage to say, “The one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does (James 1:25).
Sometimes we carry some ugly things in our hearts. Sin that goes unchecked and ignored can become weeds in our heart, sucking the life out of us and preventing any real growth. When we open the Word of God and the Spirit reveals our mess to us, it is vital for our spiritual health that we prune the weeds right then and there.
Romans 12:12 says not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The result is the ability to test and approve what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is. When we read the Word, see what needs to be corrected, and repent of our sins, the Spirit transforms our minds. He cleans us up. He takes the spinach out of our hearts and equips us to go out into the world stronger, wiser, and more prepared.
It hurts to see what’s wrong initially, and I think that’s why many of us procrastinate when it comes to Scripture reading. We come up with a plethora of excuses of why we don’t read, when truthfully, we’re afraid of being challenged to make a change. And yes, while we will be convicted, Scripture doesn’t just show us what is wrong—it shows us how to fix it. In the process of sanctification, we are transformed into His likeness where we find healing, strength, and joy.
I think the mirror is a powerful use of imagery in this text. I wanted to continually be reminded of it so I wrote this passage on a piece of paper and stuck it on my mirror where I see it every morning. While I spend time making sure my exterior looks presentable, I am reminded to take time each day to look into my heart, and allow the Word of God to transform me into a more beautiful and complete being—one that He is proud to call His daughter.
Visit Stephanie’s website and read more at www.wordsunfolding.com
Follow Stephanie on Twitter https://twitter.com/McGraw_Steph