When you look into the mirror, do you like what you see? What’s the one thing about yourself you don’t like when you look into the mirror? For me it’s my weight. I think I have been weighing the same thing on weight scales for virtually all my life. I remember my university days when in my craziness and obsession to put on weight, I used to look for medicines that the side effect was weight gain and take them. Then when Christ entered into the picture, I even fasted and prayed to gain weight. Fasting (not eating) to gain weight. Does that even make any sense? Don’t laugh at my ridiculousness. I had thought that with pregnancy and childbearing, the weight would come. Still no real difference.
Recently, I told my husband that I need a new wardrobe filled with long sleeve tops and dresses to cover my slender arms. Severally, he has had to tell me, I like you the way you are, I don’t know why you bother yourself so much with your being slim.
The irony of all of this is that when I meet relatives, schoolmates or someone from church I haven’t seen for a while, they are like how do you do it, you are still exactly the same. It’s funny how something we are so hung up with, something we don’t like about ourselves and are doing everything to change is the very thing someone else likes and admires in us.
Feelings of inadequacy about our appearance, family background, educational qualifications, financial and marital status or even our personality type if not checked, can go awry. It can lead to low self-esteem and unhealthy comparisons which can trigger depression.
God wants us to get to the level where we understand that He saw where we are, who we are and considered us worthy of the Saviour’s death on the cross. If Jesus is in us, then we are of great value not because of how we look, what we wear or our bank account, but because Christ lives in us.
The only way to see ourselves as we truly are or as Christ sees us is by looking at ourselves through the mirror of God’s Word (James 1:23-24). When we look at mirrors hanging on walls in our home, offices or some other place, we are definitely going to see things like too skinny, too fat, too dark, too many spots and freckles. When we look at ourselves through the mirror of our own eyes, we could see things like too emotional, too sensitive, too indecisive, too domineering, too impatient. Then if we place the mirror of another person’s life before us, we see things like not smart enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, confident enough, eloquent enough, not a tech-savvy person, not an industrious person, and on and on we keep spotting flaws in our looks and personality. The more we look at these mirrors, the more we see more than enough things to discourage us and weigh us down. But when we look at the mirror of God’s Word, we see the person we are really meant to be. The mirror of God’s Word gets our mind off trying to be like that super model or that smart career woman who appears to have it all together, or that mother whose daughter always gets all the awards in school, to be the person God created us to be. The mirror of God’s Word will show us our weaknesses quite alright, it will show us areas of our lives where we need to make amends, but it won’t condemn us for these areas of our lives where we need to make changes or get us depressed over them. You can’t look at the Word and feel like an utter failure. The Word of God helps us see the big picture that we are a work in progress; God is working in us through the power of His Word and Spirit to transform us into a person who reflects and radiates the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18). The more we look into the mirror of God’s Word, the more we understand and accept that we are special people not a nobody (John 3:16, 1 Peter 2:9, Matthew 10:29-31 ), we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14), forever loved irrespective of what we are going through or the mistakes we have made in life, we are loved with an everlasting love, we are not unlovable people, people undeserving of love ( Romans 8:38-39). We are blessed (Ephesians 1:3) and useful to God (Ephesians 2:10).
A daily gaze into the mirror of God’s Word will make these truths sink deep in our hearts, cause us to fully embrace Christ, and liberate us from constantly looking at ourselves through the wrong mirror, which is the big relief we all need.
PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Smith on Unsplash