Skip to main content

The Woman in the Mirror

This weekend I enjoyed the privilege of attending a wedding of some dear friends of mine. The wedding was beautiful, the bride was radiant, and the evening was a joyous celebration of two lovebirds joining into life-long union.

As I sit here musing over the wedding celebration, this evening brought a question to mind.

During the speeches, praises were lavished upon the newly weds. Some told of the bride's continual compassion and sweetness to all she met. Others mentioned the affection and devotion the groom displayed to his love. Both were said to continually display kindness, concern, and selfless love.

Listening to the speeches, I couldn't help but consider, 'How would others sincerely describe me? Am I constantly seeking to show unconditional love to those in my life? Do I make others my primary concern, or am I more focused on myself? Are my words full of kindness when I speak about others? Can I honestly say that I fully strive to be the woman God requires of me?'

These thoughts are overwhelmingly sobering. I gaze into my heart, and I see one that is so often cold and selfish. How many times have I made myself the first priority in my life? How many times have I spoken or simply thought unkindness, disdain, or even hatred towards others? How many times have I chosen to neglect others because I didn't feel like reaching out to them?

As I consider what so often is the attitude I fight (and fail) against, I am appalled. The unkind, unloving, proud, self-focused woman that I see - is this who God has asked me to be? Has He not called me to be higher and better than this? Has He not called me to display love to all, even my enemies (Matthew 5:43-44, Luke 6:27-36)? Aren't I not to esteem others more than myself (Philippians 2:3-4)? Has He not asked me to show the world His love by my actions, through patience, kindness, forgiveness, humility, and thankfulness (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)? I can so easily look at myself and allow regret and failure to sweep over me. 

But... I have another option. Instead of dwelling on these frustrations of failure, I can look forward. I can not change the past, but I can use what I am learning from my sin and mistakes to grow in sanctification and to become more like Christ.

Christ changes everything, and this is what I have been seeing prove true in the past six months. I always knew I was selfish and proud, easily jealous and bitter - but I didn't do much to change. Being all those was just too comfortable, and when it comes to bettering myself, I can so easily be lazy. When you are primarily living for yourself, why would you bother anyway?

But when Christ saved me, He opened my eyes to what my sin truly is. Sin isn't something to be snuffed at or ignored, or maybe even just feeling bad over. Sin is something that I must continually be fleeing from, and holiness and Christ-likeness what I must constantly be striving towards. Two charges James gives his readers have become especially personal in this regard:

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." ~ James 4:7-8

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." ~ James 1:22-25

I know I will never be perfect, but that doesn't stop me from striving towards holiness. And praise God, He is changing me - because I could never change myself. It may be slow-going and frustrating, but God is helping me to learn to go to Him, to consider my attitudes, and to love God more than myself.

So what will people say of me in 10 years time? I do not know. But my hope and joy is in this: that, because of Christ, I will be more like Him then, more than I am now. 


*                    *                   * 

*Special thanks to Art Pellerin, Rico Pitre, and LauraJane Pitre for reviewing my article and helping me  come up with a title.  

Comments

  1. This is indeed a sobering thought. But what an overwhelming encouragement to pursue holiness, to be defined by my identity in Christ. Thank you for writing this, Mandie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! The process of sanctification and the pursuit of holiness can seem like such a long process looking forward, but - glancing back - it is a beautiful reminder of God's power and grace. Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Delete
  2. Very true!!

    https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Out Of The Depths

Do you ever feel as if God has forsaken you? You know in your mind that God loves you and that "for those who love God all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28), but do you ever struggle to actually feel that God is near when the dark storm clouds come rushing in? Have you ever been so lost in depression that you simply lose all hope, that you feel as though God no longer cares?

I have. In spite of all I know and believe is true about who God is, His sovereignty, and His love, I still struggle so often with my feelings and emotions. It's easy in those moments of deepest despair to feel as if we are completely alone, that no one understands, and that none care.

How do you focus on God when you feel so lost - when you feel as if you are drowning in a whirlpool and you don't have the strength or ability to get yourself out?



The Truth About Christianity, Part 1: What Christianity Is (and Isn't)

Christianity.

A word that is so often misunderstood. But what does it really mean?

Type "definition of Christianity" into your average browser's search engine, and you'll come across an answer such as "the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices". In the secular world, "Christianity" simply refers to a set of beliefs that surrounds the person of Jesus.

If you dig a little deeper and ask a self-proclaiming Christian, you should hopefully get a different and more in-depth answer. Though the responses may vary depending on their specific beliefs, many who call themselves "Christians" would describe Christianity as a life-style choice, or a relationship with God. Being a Christian means that Jesus Christ is your Saviour and, if you put your faith and trust in God, you will go to Heaven when you die.

But is that it? Is being a Christian simply about not going to Hell and having a God to he…

Dear Heart, I Can Not Listen

Dear Heart,

Many days, I make the mistake of listening to you.