Summary: What if every good or bad thought I have, has an impact on what I see in the mirror? What do you think you look like before God?
Title: The War Within
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I were in a restaurant enjoying a very good chicken stew. We were the only ones in the restaurant, and the TV was turned on. I noticed this young man, who was obviously very important to the people that were attending to him. [not important to me, just to those that were on the show with him]. I noticed that he was getting dressed for some event, I didn’t catch the name. But, what did catch my attention was the fact how he was making a big fuss over his clothes. He kept saying to the five or six people that were gathered around him and watching him watch himself in the mirror, “This just doesn’t work.. This just isn’t working!”
He was mildly rude to everyone, but everyone, including the announcer never said anything about it. Instead they talked about how smart and handsome he was and his fine eye for clothes. They immersed themselves in just how the tie really did need to be just one shade of gray lighter. They didn’t hear the tone in his rude voice during that familiar, “this just isn’t working, this just isn’t working.” [though I’m willing to say an occasional look on the face of one the girls there, did reveal some amazement at just how picky he was.]
That young man had no clue as to what life was all about. To him life was all about image! To him, life was all about how people saw him. To him, life was about what he saw in the mirror and thinking and believing that he looked good. When, you know, the suit on the guy standing next to him looked a lot better than his did.
This young man had no clue that the real image that he needed to be examining or looking into, was the image of what he looked like before God. But, sadly, he truly personifies that first verse of our scripture reading,
Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do.
for he truly had no clue as to what he was doing.
But, then, isn’t that true of most of us?
How about this…What do you think you look like before God? I mean when we look into the mirror, we see a physical presence looking at us. When we look in the mirror we see a body, that is aging, or suntanned, or muscular, athletic, etc. But, what does God see?
I mean, the reflection that we see in the mirror does not reflect our thoughts about ourselves and other people, does it? What if it did though? What if every good or bad thought I have, has an impact on what I physically see in the mirror? What if I have a bad thought about a friend, then a wrinkle or a spot pops up? What if I think horribly about someone I don’t even know and a scar pops up on my face?
There’s more! The reflection that we see in the mirror can only reflect the love that we have for ourselves. If you love yourself [not in a selfish sense], you will take care of yourself and that reflection of care and concern will be presented to your eye. If you love yourself too much, like the young man that we mentioned earlier, it will reflect that image. But, that reflection does not reveal our love for others. What if it did? What if the reflection that I looked at in the mirror everyday exposed just how much I loved the people around me? What if the reflection that I looked at in the mirror everyday depended upon the love that I have for other people around me? What if, every time that I demonstrated love toward someone else, the mirror would reflect the goodness of that and every time I only demonstrated a selfish love, the mirror would reflect the horribleness of that? That would be quite a change, wouldn’t it?