What feelings does a mirror invoke in you? Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the mirrors in our lives.
There have been times when I very much disliked my mirror because it showed me a reality I was not prepared for. When did I turn into an older woman? Where did my good skin go? Is my whole head gray now? (We may never know the true answer to this question)
But there have also been times when I was so very thankful for a mirror. Like when I glanced into one just before going on stage to speak and saw that there was something large and green hanging out in between my teeth after lunch (never eat salad before speaking).
The truth is that it mirrors give us valuable information because they show us what we look like to the world and help us see things we may not have noticed without them. There will always be times when we need the reality check that comes along with seeing our own image reflected back to us.
As leaders, it is even more important that we embrace the mirrors in our lives so that we set a healthy example for the women we lead. Instead of being those who work tirelessly to create a false image of ourselves for others to see, we can demonstrate what it means to be an image bearer of the God who created us.
Think about it.
In Genesis 1:26-27 we see that God created us in His own image. He created male and then he created female and we, sisters, were the grand finale of creation. Men and women are the only ones that God created in His own image. Just us and we alone carry the legacy of what it means to be created in the image of God.
So, if we were literally designed and created to reflect the image of God to anyone who sees us, how should that affect the way we live out our daily lives?
A Strong Identity
Lets’ face it. We all can struggle with aspects of identity crisis from time to time. In researching a book I wrote on identity, my friend, who wrote it with me, and I discovered that every transition in life is an opportunity for an identity crisis. This is true whether you are a believer in Jesus or not. Transitions cause us to question and evaluate so that we can determine how we live out. Our calling and purpose in a new situation or season of life.
The cool thing is that when we recognize and realize that our basic purpose is to be an image bearer and reflect Christ, then it gives us a starting point to define what that can look like in a new stage, place or season. When you have a strong foundation, it gives you something of value to build on.
Protection from the Lies
We have a real enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy our lives. One of his favorite things to attack is our identity and purpose. When we get distracted by all the things. When we start to question if we are making a difference. When we buy into the lie that we can’t be our real selves and we need to try and mask who we are, then we are giving the enemy what he wants and forgetting who God says we are.
The way that you talk to yourself and the way that you allow others to speak into you should reflect Christ. Know the power of words from your own mouth and others. Negative talk can be a tool the enemy uses against you as a weapon of destruction. You were made in the image of God to reflect His glory and goodness to the world. The Almighty God trusted you with showing people who He is and how He loves them. That is a huge responsibility that we can stand on in the midst of this crazy world.
Now, just because we don’t give in to the lies of the enemy does not mean that we don’t ever change or that we settle for status quo. As followers of Jesus, we are always in the transformation process. As an image bearer, we should continually be changing and looking more and more like Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we as image bearers are “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”.
Get it? Being a Christians changes us, it transforms us, and we look more and more like Him as we draw closer and closer to Him. If you find yourself in a season where you don’t see any change taking place, then evaluate whether you are pursuing Jesus like you need to. Be intentional about what God is leading you to do and keep looking in that mirror until you see your likeness become more like His.
As the Lord continually transforms us into His image, our lives will bear the fruit of that. In Matthew 7:16-20 we see Jesus’ words about the healthy tree bearing good fruit. I was recently standing on the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus spoke those words aloud. As I read through the Sermon on the Mount, I stood up and leaned against a tree. Our guide had informed us that many of the trees and vegetation on the mount had been affected by a fire that had swept through recently. While reading about the healthy tree bearing good fruit, I looked up and noticed that I had leaned against a tree with a perfect line of fire damage. One side was blackened and charred. There was a clear line marking the front of the tree from the back and the other side looked clean and healthy.
God spoke to me in that moment and impressed upon me that a healthy tree doesn’t have to look perfect to bear good fruit. The trials and fires of life can scar us and even leave a burn mark, but it’s all about who we are on the inside and who we are rooted in that produces the fruit. Our mirrors will help us be certain that the fruit we bear is consistent with who Jesus is and not some skewed idea that fruit comes from performance.
Sister, we have never been called to look perfect to be useful. We do not have to spend our time and energy to become what the world says we should be. We get the privilege to glorify God by being His image bearers.
Embrace the mirrors and let them remind you that you are the image of Christ this world needs to see.
Rachel is an author and speaker. Her ministry is primarily to women’s groups and to ministry wives. She and her husband have been involved in ministry for the past 35 years. In light of her student experiences, Rachel also speaks to groups of students from middle school to college age. She firmly believes that God’s Word is transforming and the best way to live the abundant life is by following Christ daily.