With the help of a brother in the Lord, who held up the mirror for as long as it took, I could not believe what I saw. I’m not talking about the aging process. I’ve already figured out at nearly 45 years old that aging is taking place. I already know that makeup can only hide so much. I already realize that my tan faded weeks ago. I already get it that my face is the way God made it. I am not talking about that at all. I am not speaking of a human mirror at all. I am referring to the mirror of the Lord.
As much as I live my life dedicated to the Lord, as much as I try daily to take my heart before Him and repent of anything I find in my words, deeds, thoughts, or feelings that does not line up with God’s will for me, there is inevitably something I am capable of missing. Sometimes I catch what I missed the next day. Sometimes I catch it the next week. Or month. Or even year. Every once in a while, no matter how hard I try to maintain a clean life for the Lord, I stumble upon something when I look in the mirror that has been there for so very long that I cannot fathom how I could have missed it.
Today, God essentially took the heart of my brother in the Lord and my brother’s hand to hold up not just any old mirror – but His mirror. God’s mirror. And I knew when I left my meeting with my brother in the Lord that there was only one thing to do. Repent. Not drift into remorse. But go running to God’s mercy seat, with godly sorrow, and seek forgiveness for what I had finally seen.
I did not repent for wrinkles. Nor my mismatched earrings. Nor my makeup. Nor the face that I had barely washed as I rushed around this morning. I repented because when my brother in the Lord held up God’s mirror – by asking me tough questions with a loving heart – I saw something phenomenally big that needed to be changed in me. And I knew immediately that this was not a matter of washing my face with soap or water to get a little bit cleaned up. This was not going to be a quick “sorry, God”, and back to fleshly business.
This, I knew, would be a new beginning in my walk with the Lord. “Please forgive me, Lord,” would be just the start.
I can only imagine that somebody reading this piece is wondering, “What is it? What is it? She’s got me in suspense.” Surely someone is thinking, “Wonder if I have the same problem.” Or, maybe someone is contemplating, “Bet my problems aren’t as bad as what she realized today.” I can only imagine someone reading this is waiting until I break the suspense. Just what have I done? How bad can it be? Have lots of other people done it too?
But instead of sharing the sin I have stumbled upon that I couldn’t see for all these years was there, I am going to do something entirely different. The same way my brother in the Lord loved me by holding up God’s mirror to my face, I am going to love you by holding up God’s mirror to you.
When was the last time you took a good hard look in the mirror, past the wrinkles, the scars, the makeup, the beard, the pimple that you just can’t get rid of? When was the last time you took a good look at your heart? When was the last time you took your heart before the Lord? When was the last time you gave a brother or sister in the Lord permission to hold up God’s mirror to you and to ask you the tough questions God lays on his or her heart to help you see the truth?
And, when, once you looked, was the last time you did what I had the opportunity to do today? I could have run when my brother held up the mirror. I could have lashed out at him. I could have thrown the mirror aside and changed the subject. I could have left our meeting and turned my attention to anything but what I had seen. But instead, I went to the Lord, whose love is everlasting and whose mercy never runs out.
I challenge you. Look in the mirror. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to see. Ask a brother or sister in the Lord to help you get a good hard look. Bring your heart before the Lord. And face the truth, just as I have today. God has given me a new start. I have been forgiven and cleansed for my wrongdoing, but equally important I believe with all my heart the Lord will equip me as I walk forward to learn how not to return to this decades-long sin and to do things His way instead of my own. Will I mess up? Undoubtedly. Will He have more mercy on me? If I come to Him in confession, yes. Will He teach me to walk the way He desires that I do? Absolutely.
How about you?
Jas 1:23 “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”