Thursday, August 20, 2009
When you look at yourself, whose reflection do you see?
I remember while growing up how self-conscious I was, just wanting to fit in with the rest of the girls in my class and not wanting to be noticed as someone who was different. “Different” wasn’t a kind adjective back then. We girls would run giggling and talking to the restroom at every chance to examine our reflection in the mirror. We wanted to look just right so we could be assured someone would turn their head and look at us, talk to us and think we were pretty. Some girls needed very little help to achieve the “pretty” status. It’s as if they were born beautiful. Synonymous with their obvious beauty came popularity and their world seemed so perfect to those of us observing. I would sit in wonder and think how awesome it must be to have their clothes, their looks, their popularity and even their crowns. I sometimes thought happiness had to accompany all those other things. Also I questioned why it seemed so easy for some and not for others to achieve such status.
I am describing peer pressure in its most subtle form, never-the-less it is very real and makes very deep impressions at a very young age. In my case, on Monday through Friday I was quiet, intimidated and struggled to fit in. Sunday morning proved differently. I moved to the head of the class because I was in Church. I was a child of the King and I’d come to worship in my Father’s house. I was comfortable and could openly be myself…flaws and all…and I totally fit in. Oddly enough, some of my friends at school felt very uncomfortable in Church and some didn’t attend at all. This realization finally caused me to conduct a self-examination. I had to choose which was better? Did I want to fit in at school or at Church. The Holy Spirit made the answer clear to me and I wish I could confess that my struggle was entirely over but at times I still honestly wanted to fit in at both places. This is when I was taught personally that you cannot serve two masters. So my high school years were not happy years because I was in surroundings which placed very little or no value in the areas of my comfort zone. However, God supplied my comfort and He prevailed.
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” -Matthew 6:24 (NIV)
Even now, God has still dealt with me on certain issues like a “shop till you drop” attitude and using the “makeup of the stars” but it’s because He deals with root attitudes buried deep inside of us. He’s made me realize that the obstacles placed before me during my high school years are no different than the difficulties I face as an adult. They are there in order for me to examine myself and choose which pathway to travel. Here, in this grown-up world, we still have to perform the same self-examinations. The adversities we face still call for choices and still reveal whether we’re lazily going through the motions to fit in only on Sunday morning or whether we are pleasing God every day. I challenge you to conduct regular self-examinations. Your answers will be graded by the Holy Spirit and they will reveal the freedom in which you reside…the freedom to walk with God daily or the freedom to fit in the world.
(Hint: The Holy Spirit will not allow a child of God to rest comfortably in the world’s mediocrity.)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
-II Corinthians 3:17, 18 (NIV)
Captured in His reflection,