I’ve always loved the Michael Jackson song Man in the Mirror because it reflects what I believe: no matter how bad the world is, or the person in the cubicle next to me, or the person running my country… change starts with me. It starts with you. As humans we are quick to compare and blame, blame and compare. She’s worse than me. He started it. We don’t have to teach children to do either of those; it’s human nature. So, if we teach children to start with themselves, that it doesn’t matter what anyone else does, you are responsible for you and only you, then I think we can start to see impactful change in our world. Of course, we can’t teach what we don’t know. This was my most regretful parent fail. I knew I wanted my daughter to think differently and view the world differently, but I hadn’t figured out how to do either of those myself, so I couldn’t teach her.
But it’s more than that. When I stay start with the woman in the mirror, I mean sometimes we have to work backwards. Often what we see when we look in the glass is a reflection of what we see in our own hearts. It’s not what the world sees and it’s certainly not what God sees when He looks at us. So, if you look in the mirror and you see ugly, look into your heart. Why? What has happened to make you feel ugly? Are there hurts from your past that need healing? Is there sin that you are ashamed of that you need to be set free from? If you see someone who is unlovable staring back at you, do you know why? What happened to make you believe that you couldn’t be loved? If you allow God to, He will show His great love for you–through Scripture and through other people–but He will never push. You have to be brave enough to ask Him to show you and to be open to hearing the truth He wants to reveal to you. You have to be willing to pick up His Word and believe what He’s written in it about you. Maybe your reflection shows a woman controlled by fear, anxiety, or uncertainty. God didn’t make you that way, the troubles of this world did. He created you for abundant life and He wants you to experience all the promises found in Scripture… freedom from shame, healing for those deep scars, incomparable joy, peace that goes beyond human understanding.
As your faith grows your heart changes and your image does too. When you can look in the mirror and see the fruit of His Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control–looking back at you, that is when you know that His Word is truly written on your heart (Psalm 40:8). We were made in His image when He created us, adopted into His family when we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, and as believers our reflection should reflect Him. Not perfectly, but consistently. Once we learn this, we can begin to teach others.