We use mirrors every day in our society. We look into a mirror to style our hair, prepare our makeup, brush our teeth, check our hemlines, and make sure our ties are straight. While this might seem to indicate that we are all a bit vain about our appearance, it can be argued that striving to look one’s best is really an act of kindness toward those around us who have to work with us, and look at us, each day.
Looking into a mirror, we see a reflection of the world we live in. We can judge depth and distance, and see three-dimensional perspective within its two-dimensional surface. As Lewis Carroll depicted in Through the Looking-Glass, we can imagine that the world in the mirror could even take on a life of its own, if given half a chance. But this doesn’t happen. The world in our mirrors is indeed our world, pimples and all, reflected back at us with a large degree of accuracy, though it be just a “mirror image.”
The apostle Paul says that we see the glory of God like a reflection in a mirror. It is now, for the time being, a dark and dim reflection (1 Corinthians 13:12). We might strain our eyes to see it, but we trust that it is there. The glory of God, that we see now only dimly and darkly, also exists within us as we bear his image.
God calls us to reflect his image to the world. In this respect, we are his mirrors. He shines us and polishes us, grinding away the dirt and imperfections. Sometimes this is a painful process, but we must keep in mind what a glorious goal, and what an awesome privilege it is to reflect God’s likeness.
Those who look at us should see another world within us, the magical and amazing world of the kingdom of God. As Alice looked into the mirror and saw a wonderland, those around us should look into our lives and see the possibility of a better life for themselves. We are mirrors to reflect God’s glory. We are windows into the kingdom of God. It is not a responsibility to take lightly.
Though for now it might appear to be dim and unclear, there will come a day when the glory of God is reflected clearly in all his people. We shall be changed, we shall be like him, and we shall see him, not as “through a glass, darkly,” but as he really is, in all his glory. And those of us who love him will reflect this glory to one another (1 John 3:2,3).
May God help us even now to reflect his glory to each other and to the dark world that surrounds us.
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