"For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like."
It's two days after Christmas. What a day Monday was, full of wonderful gifts both given and received. But I learned a great lesson on Monday as I was getting ready for the day. That morning I looked into the mirror and took a good hard look at where I had been this past year. In sports, we all have to do the same thing. We have to look at what kind of athlete, coach or teammate we are becoming. For me, I realized, as I looked intently at my life, that I am celebrating two unique anniversaries this year. . .
In the book of James we read about a person who looks into a mirror and walks away and immediately forgets what he or she looks like. James parallels that experience to our obedience to God and His Word. It brings us to the core of who we are in Christ. Paul wrote to the Romans in chapter 7, "I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." He goes on to say in other writings that he himself has issues of sin in areas of his own life. I am sure that even Paul and James, as they looked into mirrors and saw their reflections, pondered upon what they were becoming -- controlled by the spirit or controlled by sin.
The anniversaries I spoke of earlier have become more meaningful to me this year. I realized as I looked into the mirror, I like Paul, don't always do the right things. It has been 10 years since I found out I was an adult onset diabetic. I have not treated my body like I should have over the past decade. I have slipped into habits of sin in my diet and exercise that are not God-honoring. Also, it was five years ago this week that our third child Luke went to be with the Lord. I look back over the five years and wonder what kind of parent I have been to my other three children. Again, I realize that my sin in parenting sometimes gets the best of me.
My transparency is for one reason only. I want to challenge you to look at yourself with a critical eye, as well. When you look into the mirror are you content with who you are today? As an athlete, coach, teammate, friend, spouse, teacher, parent, etc., do you like what you see? Some days I do, others not so much. This is where the rubber meets the road. What are we to do about it? As for me, I know that as James and Paul wrote so many years ago, I need to continue to follow God's Word and apply it to my life in an act of obedience. One great gift I can give my family this next year will be to get healthier, lose weight and be a more patient, loving father and husband. What is it for you? What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do you need to change this next year to be more God-honoring in your life?
As you approach this coming year, maybe this little poem can help you and me as we become more who God wants us to be.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, help me when sin makes me fall.
As I look at my face, show more of God's special grace.
When I do what is wrong, help me pray all day long.
What I see I don't like there, teach me, Lord. You always care.
And as I turn to walk away, keep me close so I won't stray.
Lord take control of who I am, make me less a lion and more Your lamb.
1. Do you struggle with what you see in your mirror?
2. Are there areas in your life you need to get a grip on for heaven's sake?
3. Today, can I be more controlled by the spirit, than by sin?
Psalm 119:11, 105