REFLECTING THE FATHER
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
How do you feel about seeing pictures of yourself? I used to prefer seeing pictures of myself from the shoulders up because my mid-section is a little out of proportion to the rest of my body (could it be the donuts?). These days though, even those pictures aren’t fun to view as the wrinkles multiply and the skin begins to sag (is that my nose?). The pictures are a real reflection of the reality of who I am, flaws and all.
J Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 indicate that in the same way the picture is a reflection of me, I am actually called to be a reflection of the Father to the world. God is compassionate and gracious, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8). Ouch! My flesh is self-serving and critical and because of being hurt so many times, I tend to ration out love in less than abounding proportions. If you struggle with any kind of past abuse, present addiction or ongoing battle with depression, reflecting the Father through compassion, grace and love can seem impossible. Many days we are just trying to survive, not wallow in our past and not give in to our addiction! And therein lies our problem. We are focused on the wrong thing. We are focused on NOT giving in to our flesh instead of being focused on reflecting the Father.
Every morning when I get up, I write out my goals. At the top of my list is:
1) Represent, reflect and reveal the Father to those I come in contact with today!
I think that if we were honest, our list of goals might look more like this:
1) Don’t give in to my addiction today
2) Don’t wallow in my past today
3) Don’t dwell on the negative today.
If I start my day by looking in the mirror and focusing on the negatives and struggles, that is exactly what I am going to reflect throughout the day. If on the other hand, I start my day by looking in the mirror and focusing on the image of the Father that is in me, I will reflect His love and grace. Jesus said that when we reflect the image of God in us (the light) we glorify the Lord.
Here is the good news! You have the image of God in you so it is VERY possible for you to reach your goal every day! II Peter 1:3-4 reminds us that we have EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness, so reaching the goal of reflecting the Father is possible every day. If the top of my goals list is to lose 20 pounds, make $1 million or not to give in to my flesh, we are probably going to end our day disappointed that we did not reach our goal.
So what does your reflection look like today?