Do you know why people hated Jesus so much? Because when they looked at Him, it was like looking at a reflection of themselves in the mirror. And what they saw reflected back at them was not pretty.
The Jesus haters saw that, despite what they told themselves, they just didn’t quite measure up to Jesus.
Where He was strong, they were weak. Where He was holy and righteous, they were self-righteous (which amounts to nothing in the kingdom of God). Where Jesus was a chosen vessel of God, these haters were rejected … because of their self-inflicted scars, made more visible by sin.
It’s also hard for us to look at ourselves through the lens of truth. When we read the Bible, it is like holding up a mirror to our face and seeing ourselves as God sees us. The image reflected back at us does not represent the image we try and portray of ourselves (one of being inherently good).
When God looks at us, He sees us as we really are. No mirrors. No smokescreens. Just raw and unfiltered. And this bothers many people.
This is why people choose to reject God. Because they don’t want to be reminded that they are as worthless, filthy rags without Him. That their goodness doesn’t compare to the goodness of God. That try as they may they will never be able to attain the level of ultimate accomplishment (the one that matters) outside of Him.
When we look at ourselves in the light of God’s holiness, we are a grasshoppers, small and insignificant compared to the greatness of God. A self-righteous, carnal man just can’t receive this.
I think this is also true on a more natural level as well. We all say we don’t compare ourselves to other people, but deep down inside we all do at some point in our lives.
We compare ourselves to the ones who have achieved a level of earthly success, and secretly envy them.
Women sometimes look at other women who are more attractive, thinner … who appear to have it all (by the way, no one has it all), and wish they could be more like these thinner and prettier women.
Men look at other men who have wealth, influence, and a knock-out for a wife and wonder what they did wrong in their own lives that prevented them from having these things too.
Yep, the mirror can be a thing that either breaks you, or makes you…
Because while some people look in the mirror, don’t like what they see, and curse the day they were born, others can look in the same mirror, and if they don’t like what they see, go about changing the person looking in the mirror so that in the process they also change the reflection looking back at them.
These people who hate the image looking back at them are often the loudest, rudest, and most unhappy people in society.
They are also the ones who will try and mar the reputation of others … to make themselves look good, and to feel better about themselves. But it doesn’t make them feel better because they become the pariahs in society who everybody loathes.
They are forever living on the fringes of society as outcasts and social rejects. And while these miserable people may have a few loyal subjects, these people are often also the rejects and the misfits in society. Misery loves company, and they stick together because no one else will have them.
Many of you might remember the Duggar family of the television show 19 Kids and Counting. This is a family with, well… 19 kids. They also portray an image of Christian values and good, clean family values. Mom and Pop Duggar decided to raise their kids with different standards.
The Duggars taught their kids to be polite, and respect their elders, and others. They also taught them the importance of being good upstanding citizens.
Mom and Pop Duggar also taught their girls to value their bodies, and to not put their bodies on display to be oogled, or to tempt others.
The Duggar family believe in keeping courtship clean, and not giving into the temptations or the urgings of the flesh. Sex is something reserved for marriage.
The Duggars are role-models for many who also wanted to raise their family with good Christian values, and morals. But the Duggars aren’t perfect…
It was discovered that their eldest son, Josh, had inappropriately touched his younger sisters, and possibly other girls, when he was a young boy. And is usually the case, this developed into something more when he became a married man, with children of his own, when he could not, or would not, control the urgings of the flesh when he gave into the spirit of lust, which Josh chose to pursue outside of his marriage, with other women.
When people heard this, some were outraged, and others almost gleeful to discover that there was a ‘stain’ on this family who espoused family value and virtue.
People saw the Duggars as a fraud. Some were joyful at their downfall, and couldn’t help pointing their fingers at them, and saying, “See, they’re not perfect either!”
Some people quickly judged the parents for not taking a more aggressive stand and turning their son, Josh, in for his errant behavior. (This made me wonder how many of these critics would ‘turn in’ their young son if he had done the same thing, or if they would have sought help for him, as the Duggar parents did.)
In many families, there have been instances of incest, molestation, and even rape of young girls by fathers, brothers, uncles, and family friends.
But most families choose to deal with this on their own, not involving the authorities. It’s actually quite common, which is unfortunate, because the girls often go unprotected when a family member is involved.
When I saw the gleeful condemnation of the Duggar family, I saw that it is much easier to hold others to a standard that we don’t necessarily hold ourselves to.
The Duggars are not perfect. And, I don’t believe that they were ever trying to pretend to be.
We all have flaws. And, it’s also nearly impossible to say what we would do if we were in the same situation. Because none of us truly know until we are in the situation.
When the crowd of men brought the lady caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, Jesus said to them, “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” This made them hang their heads in shame, because they knew that none of them were eligible to cast a stone of condemnation at the woman.
These men were forced to look in the mirror. And when Jesus handed them the mirror they saw what was truly reflected back at them … and they saw that it wasn’t pretty.
The mirror doesn’t lie.
We can Photoshop a photo to make it reflect what we want to see … and what we want others to see. But no one has been able to Photoshop an image reflected in a mirror.
We need to start looking at ourselves more often in the mirror, and be honest with ourselves about what we see, even if it isn’t pretty. We need to start looking at ourselves through the lens of Truth – God’s truth.
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