Mirror, Mirror on the wall…will you just tell me the truth?

So the other night, Eric and I joined the girls for some X-Box Kinect “quality bonding time”.  One of the girls thought it would be funny to video us with her iphone. And, let me tell you–it was funny. It was hilarious!  I looked ridiculous. We all laughed and it was all great fun. But when it was all over, there was one thing that nagged at me.

Why didn’t I look that fat when I looked in the mirror? When I get dressed in the morning, I often take a long look at myself. From the front…now turn to the side…and finally over my shoulder at the back.  And I will finally come to the conclusion that it’s not too bad. I mean I know I am a little overweight, but it could be worse, right? But let me tell you, that video didn’t lie. I was so mad at myself for believing the lie in the mirror.

Is it just me that wonders why the mirror shows a skinnier me than videos and pictures do? I think it’s really strange. But then I wondered– perhaps the same thing is going on in the rest of my life?

You see, when we look in a mirror, we often see what we want to see. We can rationalize and ignore and talk ourselves into almost anything. But when someone else comes and takes a “picture” of us–well, that is when we see the ugly truth.

Has that ever happened to you?  I know it has to me. I will be rolling along, looking pretty good to myself in my spiritual mirror. And then, quite suddenly, my husband or my children will show me my true self, either by lovingly confronting me or, more often, by getting in my {selfish} way.  Or perhaps someone will need something that I could sacrificially give and I am confronted squarely in the face with what I truly look like when it comes to care and compassion.  And then I see my true self– the one that still has so far to go.

And while I don’t usually like it, I find that, if I can put off my initial defensive response and really think about what I see, it is then that God grows and changes me. But if I just get mad and walk away…if I think that everybody else’s “picture” of who I am isn’t who I truly am…well, that is when I stay the same old me.

It is hard to hear criticism or to come face to face with areas that need change. Many times we ignore what we see. Or we rationalize our behavior: “It’s just my personality.” And, often, our initial response to someone who is lovingly confronting us is to turn the attack on the person talking to us.  “Well you do _______, so what gives you the right to judge me?”

I know all this, because I have done it.  But when I respond that way, I also know I am missing out on the blessing of God showing me the areas I need to grow.

I would like to change that picture on the video my daughter took, but I can’t. I will never like what I look like in that video. But guess what? There is the possibility to change future pictures.  But only if I face the truth.

Let’s learn to love the truth. Not only when it comes to Bible doctrine and theology, but also when it comes to ourselves. It is only when we see ourselves as we truly are that we can start becoming who we are supposed to be.

 

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Proverbs 27:6-7 Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

 

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