Today I looked in the mirror and the same old me looked back. The reflection is never what I expect. I expect to see the image that is in my mind, which is a much younger, smoother and skinnier than the real deal. But the mirror’s reflection shows the truth. The mind image simply shows my desire. I think it’s the same with my heart.
In my head, I’m living a strong Christian life. I think I’m doing everything right: praying – check, witnessing – check, reading the Word –check. Loving others (sort of most of the time) check, but then, I go to the Word and what is reflected back to me is a different picture. It’s a whole other thing to hold a standard in your head (no matter how good that may be) then to read and follow what the Word says. Let me show you what I mean:
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, tenderhearted and forgiving one another just as God in Christ, forgave you.
That’s a lot in just on teeny tiny verse.
1) Be kind to each other. On the whole I’d say I’m pretty kind to people. I don’t lose my temper, I don’t cuss at folks, I like to make people happy and comfortable.
2) Tenderhearted. Phew, something I do right! I do tend to see the hurting and respond to a broken spirit pretty readily. Oh, but then flip it on its head and I am guilty of being the too tender hearted. My feelings are like a butterfly wings ready to rip and tear at the least offense. Well, that’s not entirely true, I can take a lot of stuff from strangers, but I’m very sensitive to remarks, or perceived shuns from those close to me.
3) Forgiving. The me that doesn’t look too deep thinks I am a forgiver but, then, something happens and my response shows I’ve not forgiven and clearly not forgotten. My inner self hiding again what clearly needs work.
And of course, God doesn’t tell us to do something without tell us how to do it. So how do we accomplish these three things, which in our humanness we are unable to do, because we all are flawed and we have a full deck of emotions, feelings and abilities which can, from time to time make us mean, unkind, hurt and hurtful. So how?
4) Just as God in Christ forgave me. Completely. Sacrificially. Purposefully. Wholly. Lovingly.
God’s word has everything in it for life. Has everything to learn how to grow in His grace, mercy and love, and yet, it’s so often the last thing we read, if we read it at all. We kind of skate along, or at least I do, in my Christian walk, appearing, feeling, acting as if things are okay, and then one little verse can set me back on the right path, but I need to get to the word to see what’s a miss in my life. So today, the message I get is, Suck it up Buttercup and deal with the realities of life, one of which is that the mirror doesn’t lie, but the heart might, so go to the Word and figure out what you need today to live as He would have you.
By Linda Mae Baldwin | Freelance writer