Who is in the Mirror?
Written By: Chris Mace
The child in the photo is just beginning a life time of self perception i.e. something more than just interacting with the world. Recognizing oneself in mirrors or photos begins at an early age and continues into an awareness of how others perceive us. Those concerns develop into frequent preoccupations with self image. Significant time and energy is wasted on managing perceptions we have about ourselves or how we think others think about us.
Genetics and experience help write our stories, but we work hard on developing strategies to promote positive appearances and judgments about ourselves or to hide negative impressions, thoughts, and feelings. Our coping mechanisms may be healthy or unhealthy as we deal with personality tendencies and giftedness and capabilities or weaknesses and inadequacies. We may become individualists or conformists, extroverts and the life of the party or introverts and nerds, aggressive and confident or afraid and ineffective, bold and adventuresome or hesitant and predictable, or some combination of many different character qualities.
The Apostle Paul said something worth considering on this matter. He said that the judgments which others made about him and even his own judgments about himself didn’t matter. They were of no consequence because our perceptions can not be trusted as true, as unbiased, or as accurate. Only God’s judgment about us is important.
That sounds rather scary! However, it need not be. It isn’t as though God doesn’t know our depraved, rebellious, unholy natures. We may see each other and ourselves unclearly, but He looks at our hearts and knows we are too broken and unholy to redeem ourselves. Nevertheless, He is gracious. His heart is overwhelmed with so much compassion, immeasurable love, and mercy that He has taken the penalty for our sins on Himself. He redeems us and removes our deserved condemnation through the sacrifice of Christ if we will believe.
As we look through the mirror of faith in Christ, our true identity emerges: God’s loved, forgiven, rescued, restored children.