The Mirror

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. – James 1:23-24

by David Leach

Of all the sorts of blindness we human beings are capable of, certainly none is so striking as the depth of blindness we have in regard to truth about ourselves. We may be blind to doctrinal truth. We may be blind to the faults of our children or spouse. We may be blind to countless situations and problems and concerns, but no blindness is so profoundly spiritually paralyzing as our blindness in regards to our own flaws, our own sins. To the degree we allow ourselves to see the darkness within; our failures, our sins, our pettiness, our abuses and foolishness – we are ever ready with a plethora of excuses and a bottomless pit of ability to minimize the import of the ugliness we see. We readily give ourselves a break we only begrudgingly give to others, if we even do so at all. The sin we see in those around us we judge and we condemn. The sin we see in ourselves we ignore, or even worse, we coddle. Rare is the man or woman is not a consummate professional at self-justification. However lax we are in being morally pure and consistent, however indiscreet we might be in public and personal behavior, our capacity to overlook our own moral depravity is the deepest, most starkly abstruse delusion we operate under.

You do not have to be morbidly introspective to see this propensity within yourself. With even a cursory, honest glance inward at your motives, and a candid remembrance of your behavior – the evidence of your abiding tendency to turn a blind eye toward your own sin is established beyond dispute. At heart we all react like David when confronted by the prophet: we are indignant, we are offended to the center of our being at the awfulness of the sin of those around us, but unlike David we rarely have it brought home to us that "thou are the man." Friend THOU art the man. And I am the man.

All men are prone to vanity. It’s what drives even the old and ugly among us to the mirror. We delight in our personal image. We may complain we are too fat, or too wrinkled, or too gray – but make no mistake, we love to look at ourselves. Outwardly! Inwardly – not so much. We avail ourselves of every opportunity to improve the image that falls under the eyes of our fellow man, and yet do so little to improve our status inwardly under the gaze of our Heavenly Father. Brethren, look at yourself honestly using the standard of the Word of God. Be honest. What do you see? Do not forget what manner of man you are. Seek forgiveness and purpose to commit yourself to following Him.