Back in the eighties, when music was music, Michael Jackson recorded Man in the Mirror. Those of you old enough will remember. It’s a song about how we ignore the less fortunate and need to make a difference by changing ourselves.
There are people we pass by day to day and take little notice of who need our help. It doesn’t always need to be the homeless and destitute. It could be the person sitting in the next cubicle, the person standing behind you in the grocery store, or that person who is honking their horn behind you because you’re taking too long to make your protected left turn.
All of us are a reflection of Christ, whether we intend to be or not. And people are watching whether we like it or not. It’s the badge we wear by carrying His name. In fact, probably more because we bear His name. But that’s okay; it’s our calling. It’s what we should be doing; we need to be reflecting the Word of God. James 1:23-24 tells us that we are to reflect what we learn through God’s Word to the world. If we aren’t doing that, we are like someone who looks in the mirror and walks away, forgetting the image we saw.
What good is not remembering who you are?
Consider this: Can a doctor do his job if he forgets how to treat patients or a lawyer’s practice if they forget the laws? “Oh c’mon, Jeff, being a Christian is not as serious as being a doctor or lawyer. You don’t need years of schooling.” Okay, I will give you that. But take your profession. What good are you to your boss if you went in tomorrow and you could no longer perform your job because you’d forgotten how to perform your essential tasks?
I will give you an example. (And I thank God I was not in the middle of a client job when this happened.) I was writing my latest novel, The Transference, and I had a seizure. It was stronger than most of my seizures, and it took me out for a week. When I went back to writing my book, I was shocked that I couldn’t remember writing two chapters of my novel. The words were foreign to me. Remember, I am an author, and I had forgotten who I was. It was a scary time for me. Yes, that was medically induced, but when we allow sin and our disconnect from Christ to get in the way, I can imagine it will be somewhat like that; we will look in the mirror, and what we will see will be foreign to us.
The Image Bearer
When we focus on our relationship with God, we shouldn’t see ourselves, but rather the reflection of who we are becoming —like Christ. That’s the point of prayer and devotional time: to discover who God is and evolve into a better person, then reflect that individual to the world. When we turn away from the things that harm us and don’t walk in them, and to Him, we learn who we are in Christ. We recall the reflected image; we see and carry it with us, and those around us witness it through our actions. Verse 25 of James 1 continues, saying the follower will be blessed in all they do.
When we bear the image of Christ, we can share that with the world; we will want to and desire to make a difference in other’s lives. The refining fire of the Lord changes the heart, purifies it, making it clean and without blemish. Then we see and care for others and love others as Christ saw them, without category, segregation line, and divisions. It is up to each of us to, as the King of Pop says in the final words of his song, “Make that change.”