When was the last time you took a long, close look in the mirror? If you are like me, it wasn’t very long ago. I begin every day standing in front of the mirror brushing my teeth, shaving, washing my face, all the while staring at the mirror. After I wash my hair, I stand in front of the mirror working to get each part in its proper place. As I look carefully at my face each morning, I can’t help but observe that my hair is noticeably more silver and white. My face is older and worn. I noticed recently for the first time that I can ever remember that my lips are chapped and peeling some. For the first time, I have to use some Burt’s Bees lip balm that my wife keeps around. This is all new to me as I have never, ever used it before. My lips are thanking me that I paid attention to what was in the mirror!
I notice that my hair won’t do what it did just 2 years ago in certain places. I notice far more age spots on my face. I am forced to face the new realities in my life, in part because I stand and look carefully at myself each day in the mirror.
Let me ask you an honest, sincere question? When was the last time you took a serious look in the mirror of God for your life and your soul? When was the last time you assessed the direction of your life? Your habits? Your role as a husband or a wife and your attitude, thoughts, behavior, and actions towards your spouse? Towards God?
Has it ever dawned on you to even do something like this? Have you ever imagined what you might be missing about yourself, because of your lack of self-reflection and self-examination?
One of the most significant spiritual secrets in my life and marriage has been this practice which is revealed in this Bible passage:
“I pondered my ways, I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your statutes. I will hurry,
without lingering to obey your commands.”
Psalm 119:59-60 (NLT/BERK)
I cannot begin to tell you the impact that this passage, this spiritual practice, has had on my life. You see my friends, the Bible, God’s Word is a mirror for our life, our soul, and our behavior. As I choose to make the serious, intentional time to read, and look into and at God’s word, God’s commands to me, God’s precepts and principles for my life, then honestly reflect back on myself, my own attitudes, actions, behavior, in the light and reflection of what God asks of me, only then can I see myself accurately. Only then can I see where I might be missing the mark, where I need to adjust, where I need to improve, where I need to hurry without lingering to obey something I have been negligent in, disobedient in or completely oblivious to.
This is the spirit, the attitude, the eagerness God wants in us, to hurry to obey, without lingering around thinking about whether to do it or not! Debating it back and forth in our minds. Finding every excuse why now is not a good time.
Oh don’t we all find it so easy to see where our mate is missing the mark, but completely fail to see where and in what ways our behavior or our attitude or our unwillingness to practice and live out our God-given role and the corresponding Biblical responsibilities, Biblical habits, and behaviors to that role.
Here is another powerful and telling mirror verse:
Keep me from lying to myself. Give me the privilege of
knowing your instructions.
Psalm 119:29 (NLT)
Wow, that hits home, doesn’t it? It is so easy to lie to ourselves. Let me ask you when was the last time you stepped on the scales? We so easily lie to ourselves about our weight, don’t we? Every morning I get on the scales. Why? So I can catch myself beginning to slip from eating too much and walla, 5 unwanted pounds. I want to have an accurate reflection of where I’m really at. Do I always like what I see? No, not at all. But I want to know the truth, so I can amend my actions and be where I believe God wants me.
I can’t tell you how important this habit of pondering my ways and examining my life has been. The truth is, it has saved my marriage from coming to ruin. It has saved me from coming to ruin. You see I am no different than anyone else. I can believe I am being something in my own eyes until I read God’s word, look deeply into the soul mirror of truth and God helps me see, “Mark, you think you are loving? You aren’t being patient. Mark, you think you are being kind? Your words are cruel and hurtful. Mark, you need an attitude adjustment.”
This is one of the primary reasons I read my Bible every day. This is one of the primary reasons I drive in my car with no radio, that I value quiet and silence. This is the reason I minimize noise and distractions in my life.
SO I CAN HONESTLY THINK, REFLECT, PONDER, AND EXAMINE MY LIFE IN LIGHT OF GOD’S WORD.
My prayer for you is that you will begin to take the time in your life, to honestly stop, read God’s word, and intentionally look deep into the mirror of God’s truth and find out what you really look like, where you need to grow and change, and hurry to obey God’s truth to you. I promise you, you will be so grateful you did and so will your family.
Please give this a listen as I believe it will be a great help to you.