What did you see?... besides your reflection, that is.
I know when I looked at my reflection this morning, I was not at all impressed. In fact, I often do not like what I see. I think about all of the things I'd like to change. And yet, as I walk away from the mirror, I slowly begin to forget what it was that caught my attention in the first place and what it is that needs change.
Last month I tried the "weight watcher" diet. I'd go on the scale every morning and watch my weight and record it. Every time I did, I'd tell myself what it was I needed to do to bring down my weight some. After a week or so of doing this, I realized that just watching my weight on the scale and thinking "happy thoughts" was not bringing down the pounds.
And so it is with the word of God. James 1 says the following: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
If all I do is listen to the word but I do not make an effort to apply it in my life, then I'm deceiving myself. This is hard for me to admit, since I've claimed Christianity my entire life. I remember when, at the age of seven, I boldly informed my Catholic classmate and neighbor that she should come to my church because all Catholics would be going to hell!
And I remember when at the age of twelve, I was baptized in a beautiful river with some of my church friends. Early on, I knew that I wanted to follow Jesus. And early on, I knew that God had a plan for my life.
And yet, even with that awesome knowledge and that radical desire for Christ, I walked away from it so many times. I've known the truth, and I've chosen lies. I've known the right thing to do, and I've done wrong. I've known how to show love, and I've looked away.
I've looked away from the opportunities... to love, to care, to forgive, to share. I've done this way too many times.
And even now in my adulthood, I have to consider what exactly does my life reflect? When I look at myself in the mirror, do I see the goodness of Christ in my smile? Do I see His grace in my words? Do I see His forgiveness in my heart? Do I see His wisdom in my mind? Do I see his plan being worked out in me?
You see, it goes deeper than nice words and a pretty smile. It goes way deeper than "saying all the right things". It goes as deep as where my heart is.
And in order for me to rightfully say that my heart is in the right place and that I am a reflection of Christ, I must do more than read the word or listen to it. I must do what it says.
Lord, as I look at my reflection today,
with its flaws and mistakes
Lord, let me not forget
As I walk away
For it is You who leads the way
It is You whom I must obey
Let your word penetrate
And Lord, let me not forget
As I walk away