Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reflecting His Image

I caught my reflection in the mirror the other day. One of those full length, can't hide anything, kind of mirrors. You know the kind that makes you do a double take, because you are convinced there is no way you are that big. Problem is, mirrors don't lie. What you see, is an accurate representation of the real thing. I would love to say that the gray hair and excess weight I saw in the mirror was a result of bad lighting, but let's face it, the mirror was telling the truth. It was a reflection of my actual image.

It's moment's like these that I wish mirrors could do what Photo-Shop can do to pictures. Take a few pounds off, remove the blemishes, and make you look years younger. But, then again the result wouldn't change the real thing would it? The reality is when we gaze into a mirror, the image that we see looking back at us, is really us. So, whether we have a firm 6-pack or if we have 6-gallon abs, we can rest assured the mirror will reflect the truth.

Like a mirror, we too are to accurately reflect an image. That image is of our Heavenly Father. As a believer, our lives should be a reflection of God to the world. Trouble is, sometimes we are like those mirrors in those crazy houses you see at carnivals. You know the kind that offers up a warped view of the original image. As a believer, the world sees in us a reflection of who God is, and if we aren't careful, we will reflect an image of Him that is in no way an accurate representation of Him. No, I'm not saying we are going to be perfect at this, but too often we aren't even close.

Let me give you an example. One day, Jesus and the disciples where traveling through Samaria. Samaritans and Jews, didn't exactly get along and the Samaritans were anything but accommodating. They did not welcome Jesus and the disciples. James and John had the answer to the problem. They approached Jesus and asked them if He wanted them to call down fire from heaven and kill all the Samaritans. I can picture Jesus, stopping and looking at them like they had just said something absolutely unacceptable. He goes on the rebuke them by telling them that they have no idea what spirit they are of. Or, in other words, they have no idea whose image they are reflecting. Ouch! Remember, when Jesus looks straight at Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan!" Same thing. In both instances, these guys were not allowing their lives to be an accurate reflection of God.

Jesus, on the other hand, was able to perfectly present to the world, an accurate reflection of our Heavenly Father. Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father do. He told His disciples time and time again, if they wanted to know what the Father was like, all they had to do was watch Him. Jesus spoke like the Father, acted like the Father, and lived like the Father. His life served as a mirror image of God, so that the world could better know what God was like.

It's been said that the greatest cause of atheism today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their mouths but deny Him with their lifestyle. Let's face it, as believers, we've driven more people away from the kingdom of God than any other entity in this world. The world is looking at us, and it is vitally important that we learn how to be a reflection of God's image.

Are you like James and John and reflecting a perverted view of who God is, or are you like Jesus and reflecting accurately the image of God? We are often good at reflecting judgment but often fall short on reflecting grace and mercy. It is true that God is a God of judgement and justice, but He is also a God who is full of mercy and grace. He is love, He is full of love, and loves each of us unconditionally. Trust me when I say, the world will never listen to what we have to say until they see in us, a reflection of God's goodness. Our lifestyle will always serve as a much powerful testimony than empty religious jargon.

Choose today to reflect the character and nature of God to the world around you. Choose to become better acquainted with Him, so that when the world sees you, they will better understand who God is. We are His mirrors to the world. Let's learn to reflect Him well.

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