What do you see when you look in the mirror? Wrinkles? A crooked smile? Laugh lines? Someone too old, too young, too pale, too dark? For me, unless I am wearing my glasses, I don’t see anything clearly. It’s all a bit fuzzy around the edges. I’ve arrived at that age where I require a magnifying mirror to put on my makeup properly.
What if that mirror, instead of reflecting your DNA, your years of experience, your mother’s smile, your father’s nose, reflected your soul? Would you see a heart of love? A spirit of hope? A mind of steadfastness? A soul of patience?
Would the image be clear or a little fuzzy?
2 Corinthians 3 has something to say about what we see – or should see – in the mirror.
2 Corinthians 3:18 [NKJV] But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Note that Paul says we behold the glory of the Lord as in a mirror. I’m making my own interpretation here, but it seems to me that he is saying that we should be seeing the reflection of God’s own glory when we look in the mirror because we are being transformed into glory by the Holy Spirit.
Let’s back up a bit and take the preceding scriptures.
2 Corinthians 3:13-18 [NKJV] 13 unlike Moses, [who] put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the [veil] is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
First, I’d like to point out that Paul says the shining light on the face of Moses which resulted from his time in the presence of God was the “end of what was passing away.” What is passing away within every Christian? The old man – the human, carnal us. And Paul points out that the end, the future, the result that Israel could not look upon, was the glory of the Lord.
Also, recall that Moses had to put a veil over his face because that shining face frightened the children of Israel (Exodus 34:29-35). With the veil over his face, the people were able to listen to what Moses brought to them from his time with the Lord. But, they could no longer see His glory reflected in Moses’ face. What a shame.
Our own future is the glory of the Lord. A new man of shining light. Colossians 1:27 [NKJV] To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Romans 5:2 [NKJV] through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 1:18 [NKJV] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
But, here’s the thing these scriptures make perfectly clear: if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, repented of your sins, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, that hope of glory, that shining light is already in you, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
However, in order for us to see the reflection of God in the mirror, we have to be “unveiled.” We have to that off the veils that prevent us from clearly seeing God reflected back at us in the mirror.
If you do not see the glory of God in your own reflection, it might not be because that glory is not there. It might be because you have a veil over your heart. Maybe that veil that keeps you from seeing God in you clearly is the negative words a parent placed there – words that told you that you weren’t good enough. Perhaps you still believe that. Perhaps you still see yourself through that veil.
Perhaps that veil is the oppression that you received from a church that made you feel that you were lesser than others or unworthy. Perhaps you still believe that. Perhaps you still see yourself through that veil.
Perhaps a mate told you that you are unlovable and you have continued to wear that veil. Perhaps your negative image comes from within – your own self-talk.
When you look into the mirror, are you veiled so that you cannot see the glory of God?
I am not advocating that we turn a blind eye to the fact that each of us is a work in progress. We have to see our sins clearly and repent of them. However, I don’t think that is the big issue for most of us. I think the bigger struggle is being able to see the “end of what is passing away” – the glory of God reflected in and through us. I think the bigger issue is understanding that the lens of sin is gone when we repent, because the blood of Jesus takes it away. Why do we insist on viewing what is passing away instead of what it replacing it?
Take off the veil, sweet sister!
See that the glory of God is in you by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and because of the time that you spend with Him each day in prayer and study. See that the Holy Spirit’s fruit is in you – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. [Gal 5:22-23 NKJV]
Then, go out and live as the unveiled, reflected glory of God, and project the “end of what is passing away” – the future for all mankind – out into this world. It very much needs to see that light of glory.
I welcome your questions and comments. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.