Summary: We use a lot of mirrors to examine and determine the kind of person we are, but the only true mirror is God’s Word. Every other mirror will leave us with a warped view of ourselves. We must be transformed into the image of Christ.
By Pastor Jim May
(This sermon was presented using projected pictures of people standing in front of different carnival mirrors that distorted their true appearance)
How we see ourselves will always determine how far we go in life, and how far we go with God. If we are going to be the person that God wants us to be then we must be able to have a clear vision of who we are and what needs to change. As I thought about it I realized that all of us are looking at life in different ways. We each see ourselves differently because we are seeing a reflection of who we think we are. But where are we getting that reflection from? The fact is that our opinions, our thinking and our character are determined by what reflection we see. The source of that reflection then, must be all important.
1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
None of us can see ourselves as clearly as we should, but there are some people who don’t see much at all. They aren’t looking into a good mirror so its impossible to see the character flaws and to see how much they need to change.
Some people look at themselves as though they were looking into a very tiny mirror. You can recognize these folks because they have such narrow minded views. In fact they are so narrow minded that they can look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time. Their vision of who they really are is limited by their own prejudices and opinions. They can’t really get a full view of what they really are at all.
In order to use such a tiny mirror we have to move our face around a lot to see only those spots that concern us the most. It’s easy then to miss something that everyone else can see so easily. If there’s a blemish that we can’t see, then why bother to correct it? Let’s cover up only what we can see. Let’s make ourselves look as good as we can. After all, we are special people.
It isn’t that we can’t get a bigger or better mirror. It’s that we are completely convinced and satisfied that we are fine just like we are. There are some things in our lives that we are glad we can’t see. There are some things in our lives that we refuse to change and therefore we won’t look at those in the mirror. It’s those things that we refuse to change that become sin to us and will keep us from becoming the perfect image of Christ that we must be if we are going to make it into Heaven.
Some people look at their lives through mirrors that don’t tell the truth. If you have ever been into the house of mirrors at a fair or carnival you will know what I mean.
Some mirrors make you look like you are much taller than you really are. I have seen these folks in the church house from time to time. They have become much taller in their own eyes than they really are. They have placed themselves on a pedestal and tend to look down on everyone else as less than perfect.
Paul must have known some people in the early church who acted the same way. He said in Romans 12:3, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
On the opposite side of that point of view are those people who look into a warped mirror and see an image of themselves that is much shorter than it should be. People who use this mirror to see themselves often believe that they can never be anything great in the eyes of God. To them, every silver lining has a dark cloud. Their lack of faith is evident because they can never trust God or believe God for anything. They have listened to the voice of the devil whispering in their ear so much that now they can’t hear anything else but his lies. When the devil and his imps say, “You can’t do that”, or “you will never build that”, or “who do you think you are anyway”, or “that’s just a pipe dream”, they see themselves as failures and are paralyzed in fear.
We need to quit looking in that warped mirror and see ourselves the way that God sees us.