Friday, March 20, 2009
HOW ARE YOU LOOKING?
Getting older and looking beautiful is no easy task! We women have a much harder time with this than men. Men look "distinguished" as their hair begins graying and wrinkles begin to appear. Women just look old!
We women are forced to really work at getting that make up on just right so that we can continue to look as young as possible when we go out. Our task is compounded by the fact that our eyes just don't see as well as they used to. Since it is very hard to put on make up wearing glasses, we begin buying mirrors that magnify our features so that everything ends up in the right place and in the correct shade.
I remember how thrilled I was when I bought my first stand-up, lighted make up mirror. It magnified everything five times its normal size.
Plucking those eyebrows and putting on eye liner became so much easier. But where did that wrinkle on my forehead come from? And when did my eyelids start looking so crapy? Hurriedly, I finished the make up job and then checked myself out in the regular mirror. It was amazing how much better things looked when they weren't magnified five times!
About two years ago, I went to my sister-in-law's house and after a while, I went into her bathroom. I was admiring how she had it newly decorated when suddenly I turned and caught a glimpse of myself in her mirror! Horrors! Had I really left my house looking that bad? I was glad I had my purse with me because I knew I had some plucking to do!
I grabbed my tweezers! Why hadn't I noticed how splotchy my make up looked before I left home? I couldn't believe I had come to her house looking so bad!!!! I had taken special care that morning or so I thought.
Finally, I opened the bathroom door. I had done all I could do! My sister-in-law was just coming up the hall. I must have missed something because she took one look at me and started laughing!
"I thought I'd come check on you! You'd been gone so long. Did you by any chance look in my new mirror?"
Had I looked in her new mirror? Did the sun come up in the morning? Did birds fly? Of course, I had looked in the mirror. It was right there above the sink. How could I miss it?
"I just got that mirror at Bed, Bath and Beyond and it magnifies everything twelve times. I have noticed that when women go in my restroom since I bought it, they seem to be in there an awfully long time!"
Well, duh!!!!! I had nearly been frightened to death when I looked in that mirror. The old girl surely had gone to pot!
She continued, "I was finding it hard to see so I bought that magnifying mirror. See it is attached to the old mirror with suction cups. Isn't it awful looking at yourself in it for the first time?"
What an understatement that was! The view from that mirror had nearly given me a heart attack!
When I went back home, I headed out and bought a smaller version of that mirror to set on my dressing table. About once a week, I'd allow myself to look in it to "fix up" anything that needed fixing. To look in it any more often was just too depressing. In fact, as soon as I got away from that mirror, I had to intentionally forget what I had seen!
Not long after I left my sister-in-law's house, her suction-cup mirror fell into the sink and broke. No wonder those suction cups let go! The weight of all those dejected faces had finally been to much for them to hold up!
God's word tells us some things about mirrors. The book of James
(James 1:23-24) tells us of the one who looks intently at his natural self
in the mirror of God's Word. He gets a really good look at how he looks by God's standards but as soon as he walks away, James tells us that he immediately forgets what kind of person he saw. Immediately! I couldn't get the image of my face in that magnifying mirror out of my mind that fast! James goes on to say that we are to continue looking intently in that mirror: the mirror of God's word, and let it change our behavior and who we are in our inner man (or woman).
When we look at ourselves the way God sees us, it can be much more sobering than my shock at looking in my sister-in-laws' mirror. The good news is that continually seeing ourselves through God's eyes and learning about God's standards and then living in obedience changes how we look! I could look in my magnifying mirror for a hundred years and it wouldn't change a thing. Oh, I could pluck some unwanted hairs and put concealer on some blemishes and spots but the blemishes and spots would remain there even after I left and the hairs I had plucked would grow right back. And the older I got, the more devastating would be the view in my mirror!
In the mirror of God's word is the power to change us if we continue to gaze into it intently and let it soak deep down into our souls. It begins to transform the person that we first saw when we began looking at His mirror. We won't ever be perfect this side of heaven but by the power of God, we begin to look more and more like Christ. That is exciting to me!
America is obsessed with beauty. Women and men spend millions of dollars on beauty products in an attempt to continue to look young and to fix up the things they don't like about their outward appearance. Plastic surgeons make a fortune off of this obsession. Just a few drops of Botox costs upwards of six hundred dollars. Going "under the knife" costs a fortune!
It is very clear that our country is not nearly as obsessed with how they look on the inside as they are on the outside. In fact, if you turn on the news, watch a movie, or just look at what is going on in our political arena, you realize that most people are completely unconcerned about God's Word or what He sees on the inside of them.
It's too bad that they don't catch a view of their inner selves in a mirror somewhere. And just think how horrifying it would be to see what is inside them magnified five times or even twelve times! Instead, they live empty, shallow lives concerned only with what the naked eye can see. And their children observe quietly and become even more obsessed with outward appearances than their parents. Just look at the number of anorexic girls in our culture!
Lives lived concentrating on exterior things are bound to be empty and disappointing. Worse than that, the consequences of this behavior have a dire end. So let us work while there is still time to spread the good news of the transforming power found in the mirror of God's Word!
Have you looked in your mirror today?
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."
I Corinthians 13:12 NASB