Dr. Phil, the famous TV psychiatrist, is known for asking his clients, "How's that been working for you?" Of course, this question assumes the person is self-aware; that they realize their bad behavior is ruining their life. But for some reason they continue down the same path, hurting themselves and their loved ones. His question becomes a family crisis intervention.
The power of self-observation is important. I'm a people-watcher. But it's sometimes difficult to see our self. In a recent meeting with friends, I noticed and finally humorously commented that one of the men had worn his polo shirt inside-out. He didn't realize it! Back when I was playing golf there was a principle I learned: you can't see your own swing. Someone must stand behind you to observe and give you advice to improve. Of course, a mirror can enable you to see yourself. Pro-golfer Phil Mickleson taught himself to swing his clubs by standing in front of a full-length mirror. He's right-handed. However, he plays golf left-handed because he learned to play using a mirror.
How do you see yourself? The face we see reflected back in the mirror will either challenge, affirm, or contradict the picture in your mind, your self-image. None of us wants to be a hypocrite, a pretender. Life is so much easier when our soul and our ideal self are congruous; when they line up or harmonize. People whose life and beliefs are in sync are happier. Others see them as being genuine. They are able to trust them and can relate to them.
In my teenage years, the Lord put His hand on my life. He set me apart to minister God's word. It's kind of a strange vocation, being a preacher or leading a church. I passed up career opportunities to fulfill my calling. I've ministered in a variety of Christian situations: among Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, hippies, senior citizens, doctors, and lawyers. Along the way, besides teaching, I find myself in the role of an observer. I've watched, noticed, paid attention, and recorded my observations. In one sense I'm a news reporter whose job is gathering, writing, editing, and broadcasting the news. Much of my writing is chronicling what I've seen. Other times, I share what I sense the Spirit is saying to the churches. Yes, the Lord still speaks! As the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer said, "He is there, and He is not silent."
What we see is always based on our own viewpoint. The house you live in may have neighbors on either side. You may have a train track behind you; a field in front of you. Which way will you look? As a boy in Florida in 1960, Hurricane Donna passed right over us. I remember how the front window throbbed with the wind's terrifying power. If we look through the wrong window, we'll see gloom, wreckage, a landscape littered with discarded things. But choosing a different window can give us a glimpse of sunlight, greenery, and laughter.
As a man who loves God and takes the Bible seriously, I use the Scriptures like a mirror. They show me as I am, the real me. While I read the Book, it's reading me! With opened eyes, I can look at the world through a window opened up for me by God. This is fresh eyesight that comes only by Holy Spirit's help. This is a new window in Christ; his way to view our world.
-- Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 09/11/2019
Print Headline: Mirrors and windows