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Monday, February 11, 2013

Mirror Mirror


Romans 12 verses 9 - 21 present for every Christian a very interesting read. I toyed with reproducing the entire Scripture as contained in these verses, but I will rather include them in the ‘Word for the Week’ section of this blog, and also encourage you to read the verses up for yourself (preferably in the Amplified Bible). These verses held my attention very strongly this morning as I continued in my study of the book of Romans. As I meditated on them, I recalled a discussion I had just yesterday with a sista of mine who is to my mind, one of the best consultants that I know in her field. Incredibly intelligent and highly personable she is. I love her to bits and that’s for sure. 

She was describing for me a leadership training session she had with a group of people. Portraits of various personalities were put on the screen and the participants were then asked to state whether each person was a leader. For each decision regarding each personality, the group had to give reasons why and the criteria by which they adjudged that each person was a leader or not. At the end of the exercise, there was a long list generated from the participants themselves about what they perceived a leader was or was not. She then asked that they each imagine that their own portraits were displayed on the screen. What did they expect the response to the question of whether they were leaders or not would be, based on the criteria they had themselves spelt out? The response? Dead silence!

As she spoke, I could very readily visualize this exercise playing out, and I will admit that my own reaction was also an initial silence. Silence because I recognized that among the best of us, we each usually have an over-inflated sense of self – for good or for bad, and there is usually a difference between how we believe ourselves to be, and how we are perceived by those around us. I recognized that while I like to think of myself as a pretty good leader, there are many areas for improvement and there is nothing like taking a good hard and honest look in the mirror of someone else’s eye to show you your shortcomings. Many years ago, I had the errr…’priviledge’ to be involved in a Johari Window exercise. OUCH!!! It was a big eye opener for me; a major lesson in perception. I heard myself described in ways I would never have ascribed to myself as a person. I thank God for grace and an open mind to take the lessons from there and move forward.

As I read the Scriptures in Romans 12 this morning, I found myself thinking ‘Mirror Mirror’. Ordinarily this would have made me laugh out loud, but there was assuredly nothing funny about it as the Holy Spirit began to take me deeper in the understanding of the call we have to be like Christ. We are to have the same mind which is in Christ. We are to live as He lived; to walk as He walked; to talk as He talked; and to love as He loved. The word of God tells us that we are the workmanship of God, created in His image and in His likeness. We are the sons of God, called to show forth His glory on earth; to spread His gospel and win souls to Him. We are to be an example unto others. People are to look at us and see God. People are to relate with us and feel the love of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. People are to listen to us and grow in wisdom and knowledge as we submit even our tongues to the Holy Spirit as instruments of His counsel. As I read these Scriptures, the Lord asked me to put myself into the Scriptures and assess the image looking back at me. I was to ask of myself ‘How much do I look like Christ?

This is the question from God for you and I today sis. How conformed are we to His image and likeness? A few of the questions that popped out from the word in Romans were:
  • Is my love sincere? Are my acts of love altruistic or otherwise? What are the motives and intents of my heart?
  •  Am I showing honor to others in my relationships with them? (Honor is such a big thing for me sis. It’s amazing how we dishonor people around us, even in the smallest of ways; but that is the subject of another blog.)
  • Am I truly aglow with the Spirit? Can people readily see the zeal of the Lord upon me? Am I serving God as earnestly as I should?
  • Am I as steadfast in prayer as I should be? As I once use to be?
  • Am I truly practicing hospitality? Do I go seeking avenues to be hospitable, or am I limiting my loving of others to those who don’t need me to move out of my comfort zone? How am I contributing to the needs of God’s people? What are my motives for the contributions that I do make?
  • Am I blessing those who persecute or are cruel in their attitudes to me? Or really, am I cruel in my attitudes towards anyone or groups of people?
  • Do I truly rejoice with those who have cause to rejoice? Or do I begrudge them any part of their testimony in my heart? Do the smile on my face and the words on my lips reflect the true state of my heart? Is my rejoicing also in my heart?
  • Do I make myself available to share in the pains of others? Am I a source of comfort to those who are in pain?
  • Do I live in harmony with everyone around me, in my family, at work, etc?
  • Am I haughty? Am I high-minded, snobbish, and exclusive? Do I think more highly of myself than I ought? Is there pride operating in my life?
  • Am I adaptable; ready and willing to adjust? Do I readily give myself to humble tasks, or do I hold myself above certain activities?
  • Am I wise in my own eyes; over-estimating my own wisdom?
  • Do I focus on being above reproach at all times in the eyes of the Lord, or do I plan evil in repayment for evil done to me?
  • Do I live at peace with everyone? I mean really…..everyone???
  • Do I try to avenge myself when I feel slighted/cheated/insulted, etc? Or really and truly have I learnt to let go and let God avenge me?
  • Do I go out of my way to be good to my enemies and to those who hurt or persecute me?
As the Lord poured question after question into my heart, I thought about what the answers to these questions would be if Jesus portrait was flashed on the screen. And then I thought about what the responses would be if my portrait was on the screen and these questions were asked concerning me. Try as I might, I found it difficult to be definite in my responses sis. Many of my responses were ‘Yes, but…’ or ‘No, but….’ And perhaps there was one too many ‘Sometimes’ responses. The truth is that being blatantly honest with myself hurt. I mean, how can I claim to look like Jesus if my portrait and His do not elicit mirror-image responses? Sigh!

And what about you sis? You knew that question was coming right? This blog is a platform for both you and I to grow. So as the Lord asks me to beam His searchlight on any areas of my life, I will ask in love that you do too. What are your responses to these questions sis? When you look through the lenses of these Scriptures are you a mirror-image of Jesus?

I leave you with the encouragement that the Lord left me with, sis. He asked me not to be discouraged for His word is that day by day we are being transformed, and the objective of this transformation is that in the end we will indeed conform to the image of Christ. He reminded me that where I am today is a far cry from where I was when He called me to Him. He reminded me that if He loved me enough not to leave me in my sin and in my many messes, then He certainly loves me enough now to walk me step by step into his everlasting arms. All He asks you and I sis, is the same thing He has been asking us for a while: that we listen out for His counsel; that we be obedient and walk in His ways; that we trust in His direction. As we do so, He will do the molding, smoothing out every rough edge. He is the potter remember?  

I’m confident above all else that when He is done with you and I sis, we will be mirror-images of Christ. Believe this with all of your heart, sis! Don’t give up on yourself regardless of what your answers were. God is not through with us yet. How absolutely exciting is that?


Be blessed sis…. For you surely are!




1 comment:

  1. Ouch! Was my first response here. When I looked at the questions, I knew exactly where i was so far from reflecting Christ, i may as well have been on another planet!

    Thank goodness for truth that is tempered by grace, so i can see the truth and yet still run to the one showing me the truth about myself. Although to be honest, where else am i going to go? No one else has the answers, so back to the Cross it is.

    Thank you so much for another wonderful post.

    Blessings

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts. You are loved and appreciated.

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.