20 Jan Mirror Mirror On the Wall … WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?
I’ve heard it from every woman I’ve gone shopping with. When we get in the dressing room and try on that bathing suit or dress, we stare in the mirror, groan, and say, “I DON’T LIKE HOW I LOOK IN THAT MIRROR.”
Mirrors are a part of EVERY woman’s life! We start looking in reflective surfaces as babies, fascinated by what we see looking back. We look in them as little girls playing dress-up, imagining what our lives will be like. We look in them as teenagers, comparing ourselves to the other girls in our class. We come to terms with what we see, some of us loving the woman in the mirror, others lamenting their perceived flaws.
Women even used mirrors in the Bible! Exodus 38:8 says, “Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” Now these weren’t clear, glass mirrors like those we are use today. The polished stone or brass worked like our modern mirrors, reflecting slightly distorted features, giving an inexact representation of the face. But thousands of years ago, we know one thing for certain, even then women loved mirrors!
I use a mirror every day, and I’m guessing you do too. Depending on the mirror you are looking into, the reflection of who you see is shaping the person you are!
Whether we realize it or not, each of us looks into mirrors all around us, and they are reflecting our image back to us.
4 Mirrors We Look in Every Day of Our Lives
The Mirror of the World
The mirror of the World gives us a blurry reflection. Secular culture sets a standard of what is valued in women. Exterior beauty is the GOLD standard of worth. We see this played out in commercials, on the big screen, in photos and pictures on Instagram, in advertisements, and even in music. These images send CONSTANT messages of “what is beautiful.”
Social media sets the image of what successful women look like. We are told this is the way to dress, or look, or think, or live. Let me tell you something. We are selling ourselves short when we settle our value on adjectives like “SEXY” and “HOT.”
This idea of the beautiful, sexy woman has gained such a following that we now have a phenomenon called “sexting.” Are you kidding? Since when is sending sexually explicit images of yourself or one of your body parts to another person a wise choice?
The INTERNET is permanent. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook— these are all WORLDLY images reflecting and shaping the person you are to yourself and to others. I think it is shocking to watch gorgeous, smart women sell themselves so short for someone’s attention.
The blurry, distorted image of who we are will never clear up when we continue to stare at ourselves in the mirror of the world.
Women’s status and problems in the world are growing every day.
- Women account for 70% of the population living in absolute poverty (on less than $1.00 a day).
- Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.
- 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
- More than 16.4 million women in the world have HIV/AIDS.
- The US government estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 victims (mostly women and children) are trafficked globally each year, and 14,500 to 17,500 are trafficked into the US.
The WORLD exploits women through pornography and a distorted message that a woman’s value is through her sexual beauty.
“Take a good look in the mirror — each of you doing whatever you want, whenever you want, refusing to pay attention to me.” (Jeremiah 16:12, The Message)
“There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell.” (Proverbs 14:12)
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:2, The Message)
The world’s mirror is not kind to women. Our reflection in that mirror is not creating beauty in women’s lives. It remains blurry. No matter how hard we work and work, the reflection remains distorted.
The Mirror of our Relationships
The mirror of our relationships doesn’t just reflect the women we are today. It is cluttered with images of who we were in the past, who we are today, and who we hope to be. This includes our our childhood, our youth, and any abuse or trauma we have experienced. It reflects how we appear to our family, our co-workers, our boyfriend or spouse, and our children. For many of us it also reflects our dreams, our hopes, and our desires for the future.
Painful and positive relationships SHAPE us every day.
Emotions are what make us human—what makes life worth living—but emotions are 100% neutral. We have no control over having a feeling. Someone says, “you can’t feel that way.” But the truth is our feelings are in us, and we experience them outside of our control when they occur. But God gave us feelings as a “guidance system” for us to navigate our actions, and therefore our lives.
FAMILY of ORIGIN – FAMILY of CHOICE
NO ONE chooses their family of origin. But we all can choose the life lessons we take from our family. Our family of origin gives us our life lessons by default or by design, so we spend the rest of our lives either building on the good or overcoming the bad. We decide if we want to be like them or go our own way. Either way, they are part of our past reflection.
The kind of people who you follow will determine the kind of person you ARE, and in the future the people you will lead. We make the choice to allow them to influence our lives, to reflect their vision of who we are back at us. Look at your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook … those folks already reflect who you are … they ARE your family of CHOICE.
“For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me. But for now, three things last — trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love. Pursue love!” (1 Cor. 13:12-14:1, CJB)
Loving others with a true selfless love is impossible without Jesus. So is Forgiveness, especially when you have been truly hurt. Here’s what you have to remember: Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior—Forgiveness PREVENTS their behavior from DESTROYING your heart.
Mirror of Religion
The Mirror of Religion reflects a shattered kaleidoscope of images back at us. Institutional Religion is the cause of pain all over the world. The perversion of religion and the inhuman treatment of people in the “name of religion” is unspeakable. People say, “Why don’t I go to church? Because I went once! I couldn’t fit into the rules, the categories.”
CHRISTIANS are the only ARMY in the WORLD that shoot their wounded.
Institutional religion requires each person to fit into a certain image. If the person is flawed or broken, they are marginalized or cast aside. This is a religion of rules and appearances. This is the religion of hypocrites. It includes judging, excluding, and measuring ourselves against each other.
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” (Matt. 23:27-28, The Message)
The Mirror of God’s Word
The mirror of God’s Word is clear, magnified, and exposes every defect.
“If someone listens to God’s word but doesn’t do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. However, the person who continues to study God’s perfect teachings that make people free and who remains committed to them will be blessed. People like that don’t merely listen and forget; they actually do what God’s teachings say. If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:22-27)
When we look into this mirror we learn to lead with our ears … then with our mouth. Our actions will follow our words.
“For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.” James 2:13
When we look into the mirror of God’s word, what do we see?
- We see our flaws. We see that we are sinners.
- We also see that Jesus Christ died for our sins.
- We see that by believing in Jesus Christ, we can be changed forever.
God’s WORD is the ONLY MIRROR that CREATES BEAUTY!
“Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray … raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.” (1Titus 2:8-10, The Message)
“Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.” (Proverbs 27:19, The Message)
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful …” (Ps 139:14, NIV)
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL—made in God’s IMAGE—a one of a kind, ETERNAL creation filled with giftings, destiny, and purpose … ALL YOUR OWN … but you say … I AM NOT PERFECT!!!!
Women love mirrors because we SEE ourselves. But we look into mirrors every day, seeing our:
- Distorted reflection in the mirror of the WORLD
- Imperfect and disappointing reflection in the mirror of our RELATIONSHIPS
- Broken and destructive reflection in the mirror of RELIGION
Only the PERFECT MIRROR of God’s WORD can transform us! It creates beauty inside of us, which ultimately creates beauty on the OUTSIDE too. Once this transformation happens, we become a mirror ourselves. A mirror that reflects Jesus to a lost world!
“We can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” (2 Cor. 3:18, TLB)
I say when we look long enough into God’s best beauty treatment ever—His Word—we can become MIRRORS!
So I ask again, “Mirror mirror on the wall … who is the fairest of them ALL????”
JESUS IS THE FAIREST ONE OF ALL
He is the PERFECT one. HE is the one who looks back from our reflection when we look into God’s Word. His perfection, through His Holy Spirit, looks deep into our hearts and fills us with His love, His purity, His wholeness, and His acceptance.
How is the WORLD shaping your image of yourself? How have your cluttered imperfect relationships bound you in unforgiveness and robbed you of love? How has a FAKE dead religion trapped you in unbelief and a prayerless, spiritual life?
It’s 2016. Are you ready to look into the MIRROR of GOD’s WORD and expect to be created into the beautiful woman living the future GOD designed you to live?