Thursday, November 29, 2012

The One True Mirror

This passage is from the chapter “In His Perfect Love, I Am Secure” in Ruth Myers’ The Perfect Love.

We feel secure when we’re convinced that someone important to us views us with love and approval—especially if we’re convinced that this someone is sincere, has good judgment, and won’t make an about-face tomorrow. This gives us a stable identity, a stable sense that we are acceptable persons. Just as we use a mirror to see that we look all right physically, so we also use mirrors to find out if we’re all right as persons. Emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically we need a mirror in which to see what we’re like.
 The mirror people most often depend on is the mirror of other people’s responses. When they receive smiles and compliments and encouragement from others, they feel great. But often they don’t receive those things. Instead they encounter negative responses ranging anywhere from frowns to tragic abuse. Then they wonder, or subconsciously feel, “What’s wrong with me?”

Some try to ignore what others think about them. They turn inward, seeking to find some mirror within themselves—some abilities they’ve developed, some ways they are as good as (or better than) other people. They don’t realize that if they want a true understanding of themselves, one that is accurate and stable, they must build it only on what God tells them about who they are.

Each of us who believes in Jesus has come into real, living contact with the one true mirror, the mirror of God’s love. This mirror always reflects genuine acceptance and a totally accurate picture of who we are. It shows us wonderful, uplifting truths about how acceptable we are in Christ and how much God values the unique person He has created each of us to be. It also shows us humbling truths about our limitations, needs, and flaws as human beings. It doesn’t gloss over our sins and failures, yet it never condemns us for them. The more personally we embrace this picture, the more it gives us a profound sense of being accepted and secure in spite of being far from perfect.

God wants us to see ourselves this way—loved, accepted, and secure—because in truth this is what we are in Christ. These are facts, and God wants us to know they’re true of us because of Jesus.

It’s so good to go back often to Romans 8:38-39 and reflect on our strong, stable, permanent acceptance and security in Christ:

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

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