Have you ever looked in the mirror and examined your reflection? No, I mean really stared at yourself. For me, the longer I look, the more faults I find. The overgrown eyebrows I normally don't notice (or like to say I don't notice) because I am not looking carefully, all of sudden, become a glaring wrong that must be fixed immediately.
Do you think if we examined our spiritual life with the same attention, we would come to the same conclusion? Do you think we would find areas of our life we need to pay more attention to?
My parents used to tell me that whether I behaved well or behaved badly, it reflected directly on them. If God is our Father, then doesn't our behavior reflect on Him as well? Think about it: What kind of reflection do our words and deeds cast of Jesus? Is it accurate? I am not trying to cast blame or point the finger, I just want us to examine all that we do in light of the fact that the things we do, the things we say, the places we go all affect our witness and either give credit to or damage the name of our Lord.
A few years ago I had a mouth like a drunken sailor and had even managed to make quite a numbers of sailors blush with my language. And I claimed to belong to Christ! I would try and clean it up but never for long. Try as I might, I struggled with this stronghold in my life. And while, over time, I made great improvements in my language it was still rather, um, colorful. I would tell myself, I just can't help it, it's the way I am, it's the way I express myself!
When my first child was born, God taught me a very important lesson. I can help it! I just needed the right motivation. I needed to stop believing the lie that I was helpless. To tell the truth, it was easier to say I couldn't help it than to try and change. But I wanted better for my child. I wanted him to be able to express himself intelligently and effectively without resorting to profanity.
When I am tempted to believe that I cannot help my behavior I am reminded of that time in my life. One of the main battles I face today is with my emotions. I tend to lose my temper and act however I 'feel'. I am learning that Jesus wants to be the Lord or my speech; Lord of my actions...Lord of my life! I want to surrender fully and completely to Him so that I can show others who He is. I cannot do that when I act like ME!
1 Corinthians 13:11 says, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."
It is time for me to grow up in Christ. I am ready and willing to stop hiding behind my excuses for bad behavior and start confessing that behavior to Him. I will never be perfect, but, with His help, I can be a better reflection. How about you, will you join me?