Summary: This series focuses on the truth that we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror and the lives we live when we forget what we saw in the mirror.
The Person In The Mirror
The title of my message this morning is “The Person in the Mirror.” My original title was going to be “The Man in the Mirror” but I did not want to give the impression that this message is for the men only. This message is about what we see in the mirror when we look at ourselves.
To set the stage this morning, let me tell you about a video I saw of you young boy practicing his baseball swing. The boy walks up to the mound carrying a bucket of balls. As he prepares for his first swing he yells “I am the greatest hitter in the world!” He then pitches the ball up in the air, waits for it and then swings with all his might. He misses the ball. He looks at the ball on the grown for a moment and then says “Strike one.” He picks the ball up and yells “I am the greatest hitter in the world!” He then pitches the ball up in the air for a second time and then swings again with all his might. He misses the ball. Again, he looks down at the ball for a moment and says “Strike two.” He picks the ball up for a third time. However, before he pitches the ball, he looks at his bat, sets it down, spits on his hands, turns his hat around and then prepares to pitch the ball again. This last time he yells with even more intensity “I am the greatest hitter in the world!” He then pitches the ball up in the air, waits for it and swings one last time with all his might. He misses the ball for a third time. He looks down at the ball on the ground for the third time and says “Strike three.” He looks up for a moment thinking and then smiles and says “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!!! Then he jumps up celebrating his pitching abilities. I shared this with you because how we think about ourselves will be directly reflected in what we are able to accomplish. Who we see in the mirror is where the change starts.
In 1988, a song written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett, was recorded by Michael Jackson. The name of the song is “Man in the Mirror.” This song is said to be one of the top 10 songs every sung by Mr. Jackson. In the video version of the song, Mr. Jackson, unlike his other videos, is not in the video aside from a brief clip towards the end where he can be seen putting on a red jacket and standing in a large crowd. Instead, the video features different footage from various major news events such as the nuclear explosion of Operation Crossroads, the Civil Rights March on Washington, The Kennedy brothers’ assassinations, etc. The song was about changing the world by first changing the man in the mirror. Let me share a few lines of the songs with you.
“I’m gonna make a change for once in my life. It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right. As I, turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat, this wind is blowing my mind. I see the kids in the streets with not enough to eat. Who am I to be blind? pretending not to see their needs. I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”
The chorus of this song says that he would start with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways. Well, based on where we are currently, people did not heed this advice. You see, we are still looking at the person in the mirror and walking away and forgetting who we saw. In this series I want us to not only take a look at the person in the mirror, but see if we are seeing who we are, who we want to be or who others are saying we should be. Our foundation Scripture for this series comes from James 1:21-24.
James 1:21-24 says, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness, and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” Please mark this Scripture as we will come back to it a little later.