Monday, November 22

Objects in Mirror are More Forgetful than they Appear

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. --James 1:23-24

Last Sunday was my first opportunity to work with the children's ministry at our church. I knew I'd be spending at least part of the time sitting on the floor with the kids, so I wanted to dress comfortably but still look "presentable" for church. I chose to wear a knee-length denim skirt and one of my favorite blouses. To top it off with the perfect accessories, I reached into my jewelry box and grabbed a pair of brown beaded earrings--or so I thought.

After church was over, my husband and I hopped into the Taurus and began the trip up to my parents' house to help celebrate my sister's birthday. I flipped open the visor mirror to check my hair and makeup. To my shock and horror, I realized that I had a beaded earring in one ear, and a dangling pink vine in the other!

My initial reaction was to lash out at my husband for letting me leave the house looking so silly. About 5 seconds into my tirade, we both broke into laughter at the hilarity of the situation. In the first place, it was ridiculous that I was wearing two different earrings. Furthermore, it was ludicrous that I would try to blame him for my own failure to check the mirror before I left the house.

As Christians we often venture out into the world thinking we are, for all intents and purposes, "presentable". We fail to hold our own attitudes and actions up to the mirror of God's word to see our reflections. Or, worse yet, we cast a passing glance at ourselves but do nothing to correct the obvious flaws we see in ourselves. We also attempt to cast blame on others, blaming them for our mistakes. We skirt responsibility for our own actions while demanding perfection from others.

Since last week, I have been careful to give myself more than just a passing glance in the mirror before I head off to work or church, lest I embarrass myself with more mismatched accessories or something worse. I am also trying to spend more time reading God's word, so that I can use it as a way to clearly see myself and see what things about me do not match up with God's standards.

As representatives of Christ's kingdom here on earth, it is our responsibility to make sure that the image we project is one that accurately reflects God. Unless we hold ourselves up to God's standards, we remain in an attitude of blind selfishness. How can we expect others to use God's word as a source of truth if we ourselves don't even use it?

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