Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Man In The Mirror

I was riding in the car the other day with my wife, when a song came on the radio. Mel commented that the song playing used to be a secular song but that she had always liked it, and now it was being played on the christian station. I listened to the words and it was true! The song that was written as a secular tune, actually could be applied to the christian life. We began to talk about the other songs that we knew that could be used the same way and what would you know, an old Michael Jackson song came to mind. "Man In The Mirror" began to play in my mind then the scripture passage from Proverbs started to come to me. "As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the man". WOW! It could be said of some that vanity is a problem but not so much for me. I hate looking into the mirror. Every time I do, I see all of the blemishes, imperfections and unpleasent things I do not like about my looks. I see my big nose, huge eyebrows, crooked teeth, receeding hairline, etc. It is scary! Still, if I want to look presentable, I have to look at the man in the mirror to see what needs to be done. Does my hair need brushing? Do I have any food in my mustache? Is it time to shave? Until I take a look at the reflection, I have no idea what needs to be done to stay groomed, or even how to do it. We have to use a mirror in order to shave correctly or else, I would shave my gotee off. I have to have the mirror to comb my hair or it might stick up in places and not in others. Do you see the connection? As much as we hate it, sometimes we need to examine the heart to see if we really are measuring up to the standards that God has asked us to live by. The heart tells the story, and allows us to get a good snap shot of where we are exactly in our walk with Christ! Some of us are the same with our heart reflection as we are with our actual mirrored image...we would rather walk away and not look, but this is not an option for the child of God! We should always be willing to make changes in our spiritual apperance so that we reflect God and not ourselves! Looking at our heart reflection can sometimes be sickening, but the more we come to terms with who we really are and who He really is, the more we will be like Him, but it all starts with the man in the mirror! Let me close with this short story. I heard of a pastor once who, led a small church that had once upon a time been an on fire, lively, soul winning, growing congregation but had lost the passion to do just about anything over the years. Attendance had slumped, guests were not very welcomed, the nursery had dropped to 2 on a good Sunday and the only thing to report in the newsletter was how nice the social was last Saturday! Missions had become something that "other people" did and the vision for the church consisted of nothing more than a plan to maintain what was already going on. Churches around them that were growing were labled as "liberal" and "worldly" and many of the members gossipped but made sure to fashion it in the form of a prayer request. After becoming tired and distressed about the situation, the pastor commented that he felt like sundays were like going to a funeral home, so he had an idea. He decided to preach an entire message in the same style as if he were preaching a funeral. He talked about the "dearly departed" and how we loved the one who had passed. He talked about good times and the memories. As the pastor continued, he talked about all the qualities that were loved about the deceased and even how much others were dependent upon them, however throughout the whole message, the preacher never gave the name. All at once, the back doors came open and a casket, shiny, black with silver handles was rolled into the sanctuary. The pastor slowly made his way to the head of the casket as he closed his bible and opened the lid. He asked the church to come around row by row for the final viewing. As each person intrigued by who this poor soul was that had met with an untimely death peered into the coffin, they were astonished to find a mirror! In place of a corpse resting in peace, it was their own reflection that glared back at them! "This is a sick joke" one man whispered. "He has lost his mind" a lady from the back said. Finally the last row had came by the coffin and peeked in, then the Pastor stepped back into the pulpit and announced, "Thank you for coming to the funeral of a dead church". The people were angry and some even left the church, but the truth was still there! The people were dead and had failed for many years to take inventory of themselves personally and as a church, until they saw a familiar reflection, one they recognized laying in the coffin...their own! It was not until we get honest, open our eyes and look that we might find a similar situation in our personal and spiritual lives, but we must face the mirror and look into our heart!

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