“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.”
She was so friendly!
The lady at the door, I mean.
She smiled wide. She was animated. She was attentive. Every possible social cue I was picking up on was pointing in the direction of ‘this conversation with a stranger is going well’.
Except it wasn’t, in a conventional sense.
I see that blank expression on your face. Perhaps I should back up and start at the beginning.
It was a Saturday.
I was baking.
Brownie batter was dripping off the hand mixer beaters.
I couldn’t resist.
I know. I’ve read the warnings about eating batter with uncooked eggs in them, just as you have. It was just so satiny. And smooth.
And chocolatey. (Did I mention they were chocolate brownies?)
Anyhoo, when a stranger approached the door, I answered in my apron and started said conversation with my grinning guest.
It was going swimmingly.
Until I closed the door and washed my hands in order to get back to the baking process and caught a view of myself in the mirror.
Irghtotbejr. (Translation: GREAT. GRAVY. GIRL.
Some of that brownie batter was clinging to my face.
Not just a small bit, either. This was not a respectable smudge on one lip.
My face was smeared with the stuff. (Hence the grin on the visitor’s face.)
How I suddenly wished that I had looked in the mirror before that encounter.
But just imagine that I had.
Imagine that I glanced too quickly to catch the issue.
Or that I knowingly left my face looking like an amateur cake decorating project before answering the door.
It does make for a strong back up for what James is saying here.
See, if we just glance once in a while and don’t pay much attention to what is going on, we won’t catch those tricky hair fiascos, or funky wardrobe malfunctions in time to avoid embarrassment. Now, I’m certainly not advocating for a perfectionist for an unhealthy absorption with our physical selves. Just the good old regular stuff. Comb your hair, people.
In the same way, we need a spiritual mirror – one which will accurately reflect what is happening inside, in our hearts. We need to know when we look bad – not to shame us, but to inform us, prompt us to take note of what is going wrong, and enable us to make a plan for making necessary changes.
There is no mirror more accurate than the Bible.
It tells it like it is.
It’s blunt. It will pull no punches. It spells out right and wrong pretty strongly.
But its pages are also filled with grace and healing and a powerful, crazy love that stooped down to redeem us.
Along with tons of mind-blowing promised rewards for any hassles we endure while living here on earth.
So, let me challenge you.
Mirrors are meant to be looked at.
‘Cause if y’all have been licking the beaters when you bake, I’d advise you to find a washcloth.
Take a look in the mirror of God’s word so you can do some tidying up with me?
Father, it can be embarrassing to catch a glimpse of our true natures as reflected back to us from Your Word. But, if we have the courage to see ourselves accurately, we also have access to Your forgiveness when we mess up, as well as Your power to move forward into the freedom and healing of obedience. Bless as as we do so. Amen.