I don’t like looking in the mirror. I get myself ready in the morning, slap on a little make up and hit the road. What happens to my face after that is anyone’s guess. Most days the lack of mirrors in my life is not a problem until a friend whispers to me under their breath “Karen, you have lipstick on your teeth.” Obviously embarrassed, I begin swishing my tongue and rolling my gums wondering how long I’ve been looking like a well-fed vampire. By the look on my friend’s face, I know my attempts to get rid of the lipstick discreetly has only made things worse. So my friend softly says, “You might want to go look at yourself in the mirror.” As much as I hate mirrors, I know that the only way to thoroughly get the marks off my teeth is to give my face a close examination. So off I go in search of a mirror- smiling- with my lips drawn tightly together.
Mirrors are a great place for seeing what’s wrong; that’s probably why I avoid them. Sometimes we’re supposed to take a good hard look at what’s wrong not just on our face, but in our life. As a follower of Christ, it’s called conviction. Blah. That’s a gross word. Who in their right mind wants to be convicted? Who wants to be told the things in our life we need to change? Not me. I get embarrassed with lipstick on my teeth; I surely do not want to see my real, penetrating flaws in myself. But that, my friend, is part of the Christian walk. Christ sent each believer the Holy Spirit to convict us—to show us the truth about the world and ourselves.
It’s like driving home from dinner with your mom after you’ve been insensitive to her. Just as you are turning onto your street it hits you how insensitive you’ve been. You feel bad and then something inside you is pushing you to pick up the phone and tell her you’re sorry. This is the Holy Spirit convicting you to see what you did wrong and to do something about it.
Conviction is not a bad thing—of course it’s not a fun thing- but in the long run, it’s a good thing. As Christians the goal is not to never be convicted but to see your fault and to act on it. Unfortunately, many of us just choose to walk around feeling guilty because we don’t make things right OR we just forget about what we’ve done wrong and go on with our day.
Look at James 1:23-24, Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. Scripture is the mirror the that shows us our faults. The questions is, when you can see what you need to change, do you do it or do you walk away and forget about the marks on your life that need to be cleaned up? Don’t run from mirrors. Listen for when the Holy Spirit whispers “Hey, you might want to go look at yourself in the mirror.”