Last week, one of my dear friends had her second baby. As we sat in the hospital room, passing him around, she commented, “I think he looks so much like his sister!”
(I don’t have this skill. God forgot to give it to me. All babies, including my own, look like squooshed, little red prunes. I can’t see my nose, or my husband’s chin, or great-grandpa’s forehead. I missed that boat.)
It amazes me how universal the drive is to compare these hours-old, little human beings to who they’re related to. And no wonder! God was the first. He said, to Himself, “Let us create man in our image!” Let’s make something that looks like us, and then search for the similarities! That was God’s idea of fun.
The point is, we, including God, like this idea of others reflecting back to us who we are. God’s purpose for us is to look and act more and more like his son. And we still celebrate when a mannerism of our children, or a physical characteristic, represents someone we love. Especially if that someone is us.
I think this is why we like beautiful people. On TV, in magazines, at church. We gravitate towards beautiful people and that’s a fact. Jessica Simpson has almost 500,000 people following her on Twitter. Do you think it’s because they’re awaiting some profound comment about the world’s events? She’s beautiful, so we pay attention.
We use others as our mirrors.
If I can look around me and see there are successful, smart, attractive and talented people (and there are—I love you all!), then I can deduce the same about myself. It’s an unspoken rule of this world. Have you ever noticed how people marry in the same league? Or, when they don’t, we notice? Think about high school. And all of those cliques. There were unspoken (sadly, sometimes spoken) rules about who did and did not belong.
Because those mirrors are important. They have to stay in tact for the security of all.
While that’s all normal for the world, there’s a new normal for the Christ-follower. Our mirror, our answer to who we are, should be Jesus. When I stand before Jesus, he answers all of those questions—Am I beautiful? Am I valued? Do I have something to offer? What is my worth? He affirms me, from the deepest places of my soul, and sets himself as the ultimate Mirror.
With this new standard of comparison, I’m set free. Set free to love, to serve, to spend time with, to minister to, to accept friendship from anyone. The insecurities that came with my deepest questions have been settled.
A long time ago, a man was on a mission from God to choose Israel’s next king from a group of brothers. He gravitated toward the beautiful son, and God spoke loud and clear:
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
Let’s start comparing ourselves to Jesus. To his image, to his character, to his success, to his beauty. As Jesus becomes our Mirror, we might even hear the Father boast of how much we look like Him.