The Mirror That Loves You
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
We were eating with friends at a restaurant, and my wife unobtrusively gave me "the sign." She brushed her upper lip with her fingers. I know what that means - it's nothing romantic. Some crumb of my dinner has managed to escape going in my mouth, and it's on my mouth instead. If we're alone when that happens, I usually tell her, "Oh, I'm just saving it for later." I don't know why she doesn't just let me embarrass myself. That's called love, isn't it? I have no way of knowing that I'm carrying something that's going to embarrass me or make me look bad because I can't see myself. But she can and she loves me enough to tell me.
There are things we can't see about ourselves - things that aren't particularly flattering. That's why we have mirrors. And some of the most revealing mirrors in your life aren't glass reflectors hanging on a wall. They're people who love you enough to show you things about yourself that you might not otherwise see.
In fact, mirroring is an important part of loving a person; holding up a mirror and helping them to see things about themselves - beautiful things and things that are not-so-beautiful. Proverbs 27:17, our word for today from the Word of God, talks about this loving responsibility we have for one another. God says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Iron striking iron can create some friction, but it also helps create a sharper edge, a greater usefulness.
God has placed you in people's lives to be a mirror for them, and He's placed people in your life to be a mirror for you. That's what husbands and wives are supposed to do for each other, what parents should be doing for their child, and even children for their parents, with proper respect, of course. Friends, fellow believers, associates, supervisors, employees - they can all be voices from God, letting you know things about yourself that you might otherwise miss.
The question is, "How are you responding to the mirrors in your life?" Are you just getting mad at the mirror or are you walking away refusing to change? Proverbs says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses" (Proverbs 27:6). In other words, the people who really care about you will love you enough to tell you the truth about you. And then God tells us, "He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise" (Proverbs 15:31).
Yes, mirroring lets the person we love know how they're coming across. It lets them know the damage they may be doing; it lets them know what they might be doing that's displeasing to God. And it also shows that person the good things about them that they may not realize. See, as a mirror for somebody you love, you need to praise their strengths and their insight, their good ideas, their progress and their growth in an area of weakness...even if it's only a little growth. Our constructive criticism needs to come in the context of lots of affirmation, not lots of condemnation - or they won't know that we're saying it because of how much we love them. It's not going to feel like we love them.
Loving someone means mirroring them - showing them the things they can't see. And it means receiving what they show us as love that cares enough to tell us the truth. Pay attention to what your mirror shows you - you can save yourself a lot of embarrassment and a lot of regret!
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.