The Man In The Mirror

                Many of you will recognize this as the title to a Michael Jackson song popular several years ago.  I am not/was not a real “fan” of his, though I did enjoy some of his music, and especially some of the thoughts conveyed in this particular work.

                The lyrics describe one’s  becoming aware of his own fortunate, comfortable circumstance and the very opposite plight of so many others.  Once aware, he is determined to make a change in himself, to cast off the kind of self-centered love he had been practicing and reach out to others.  He refers to it as starting with “the man in the mirror.” It is hard to reflect on those words and their noble message without thinking of some pertinent passages of Scripture.

                One of the first to come to mind is from 1 John 3:17,18 – “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees  his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”  This verse teaches being aware of the needs of others and DOING something about it.  In both old and new testaments, God’s people are taught to love our neighbors as ourselves.   (Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 19:19)

                Paul, in Galatians 6:10, instructs Christians to do good to all, especially for fellow Christians.  The context is helping share burdens of life and helping others  be spiritually strong.  This is something we are not to grow weary of doing.

                There are many other passages that teach us to do good, to be helpful, forgiving, generous, and not selfish or self-centered.

                Let’s consider  just a few that concern looking at the man in the mirror:

                Before we correct someone else, we are to look at ourselves – as Jesus specifically worded in Matthew 7:5 and Luke 6:42.  He also taught the principle when He dealt with those who accused the woman taken in adultery.  In John 8:7 He told them that the one without sin could cast the first stone at her.  The text reveals they were convicted by their consciences and “went out, from the oldest to the youngest.”

                We are to examine ourselves to be sure we are abiding in the faith.  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

                The sinner whose prayer was more acceptable to God had looked at himself and asked for God’s mercy.  (Luke 18:13)

                We are to examine ourselves as we participate in the Lord’s Supper. (1 Corinthians 11:28).

                One final passage – one that kind of wraps it all up as we look toward eternity:  all of us need to look at the man (or woman) in the mirror fairly and objectively, considering Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 10:12 –“let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”

                When was the last time you took a good look at yourself in the mirror (God’s Word, in this case)?  Did it make you want to “make a change?”  Did you make that change?