“Mirror, mirror on the wall…who’s the fairest one of all?”
I suspect we are all familiar with these words from the movie “Snow White.” The evil queen asked this same question of the magic mirror every morning. She obsessed over being the most beautiful woman in the land and threw a fit of rage if the mirror answered with anyone’s name but hers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our bathroom mirror gave us a daily affirmation every morning as we gazed on our reflection? I would love to start my day being told that I am beautiful and well-loved.
Reflecting God’s Glory
At a recent Bible study, we had a lively discussion about mirrors and reflecting God’s glory. Our focus was on 2 Corinthians 3:18 (The Living Bible) in which Paul uses these words: “But we Christians have no veil over our faces; 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.”
I was curious about the science behind how a mirror works and did some research. I discovered that basically anything with a smooth surface (one that reflects almost all of the light that strikes it) can become a mirror. When the light bounces back at the same angle, we see the reflected light as a mirror image.
It struck me that smoothness is required for reflection. As we become more and more like Jesus, I envison Him smoothing the rough spots within us and polishing us to shine brightly with His glory. This is not always a painless process as our stubborness and pride often keep us from allowing Him to strip away those things we want to hang onto.
Purpose of a mirror
The true purpose of a mirror is to reflect back the image of what is in front of it. What do you see when you look in the mirror every morning? Are you happy with your reflection?
Have you ever visited a Fun House of Mirrors at a carnival or county fair? I have not but I know those mirrors are meant to distort and confuse you. You are made to look very tall and skinny with a very large head or short and very wide with big feet… the reflections are not true to life but are meant to be funny.
Unlike those Fun House mirrors that distort images, God’s word reflects who we truly are. The purpose of the His word is to show us our sin and our need for a savior; so it may not always be pleasing to look into that “mirror of His word” as it may reflect behaviors that need to change.
Mirrors of our culture
It is easy to become focused on the mirrors of our culture; those images of what society tells us we should strive for. Images that are all but impossible to replicate. But as sons and daughters of the King, we have a different mirror to look into to see who we are.
James 1:22-25 (Christian Standard Bible) offers this: “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does.”
When we look into a mirror, we focus on our physical flaws and imperfections. For myself, I see someone who has weight to lose and who is definitely not ready to be on the cover of Vogue magazine! At times though, I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror at a store and marvel at how much I resemble my mom… which is not a bad thing in my mind!
In his book, I’m All Over the Place, poet and author Tanner Olson writes these words in a poem titled Less
“when I feel like
You aren’t afraid
When you are feeling you are less, remember you are perfect in His sight.
Say these words to yourself as you gaze on your reflection:
“I am a redeemed, forgiven and blessed child of God and as such, I am reflecting His glory.”