How Clean is Your Mirror?
One morning recently I got up sleepy-eyed before dawn and began shaving in our dimly lit bathroom. Groggily, I made a few swipes with the razor and then began splashing my face with water. After rinsing off my face, I noticed an unseemly spot on my neck that just didn’t seem to want to come clean. No matter how hard I scrubbed, still the spot was there. And then as I moved slightly, I noticed that the spot didn’t move with me. It was still there…upon the mirror, where it had been all along.
I soon busied my washrag on the mirror and before long the spot was removed. Shortly afterward I inserted two new bulbs above the mirror. As I screwed in the second bulb I noticed something strange. I had my shirt on inside-out! What a difference a clean mirror and some extra light can make.
As I think back to that experience I’m very much aware of one thing. There was really nothing wrong with the mirror. It was a new mirror. Its problem lay in the fact that I had been careless and had not changed out the defunct bulbs earlier. Because of this a spot of dirt had gotten on the mirror and remained undetected until I was washing my face. But after some light and a few good swipes with a rag, the mirror’s true resiliency shone, just as it had when it came from the store.
Got’s Ten Commandments are Like a Mirror
I sometimes wonder if God’s ten commandments aren’t a bit like my mirror. Over time it seems that mankind has become spiritually groggy and we don’t seem to know God’s ten rules of character anymore. In fact, less than 5% of the adults in the U.S. can put the ten commandments in the right order. Less than 1% of the U.S. population can say ‘The 10’ from memory.
Could it be that we all need to wake up from our sleepy condition, like I did that morning I was trying to wash myself in the mirror. We need to open our eyes and pray that God will shine his light on these 10 principles so that we can see what he’s really trying to tell each one of us individually through them.
Is it possible that each one of us has years of tradition piled up on top of these 10 gems. Do we really know what’s hiding beneath the dirt pile? Do we really know the message of the 10 commandments?
We need to get beneath the surface of what we think they say and really find out God’s message for each one of us. And unlike my cleaning the mirror, we may need more than a cloth to dust off ‘The Law of God’. We may actually need a pick and a shovel to mine out the gems God placed in plain sight, before centuries of tradition were piled up on top of them.
Now what’s a mirror for? A mirror gives us each a clear reflective image of ourselves. So, could it be that a miry mirror with years of tradition piled up on top of it might distort what we see when we look into it? Perhaps we think our Christian walk is great, as we look at our reflection in the miry mirror. But spiritually it’s as if we’re wearing our shirt inside-out. Just like the emperor in Hans Christian Anderson’s classic, we’re clueless. We somehow believe that we are spiritually clothed with Christ’s robe of righteousness, when in fact we are naked, blind and miserable. We just don’t know our wretched condition, because we’ve allowed the mirror to get fuzzy.
Remember: Less than 5% of the adults in the U.S. can put the ten commandments in the right order. Less than 1% of the U.S. population can say ‘The 10’ from memory.
Don’t just become one of the statistics. See what God has hiding for you underneath that dirt pile of tradition. We must not become so comfortable with ourselves that we have the idea that we are increased with goods and have need of nothing. Instead, as we look into the mirror of the 10 commandments, let us continually behold the destitute state we are in and continually call upon God to supply all our spiritual needs and to fill our void.
MORE ON MIRRORS
But don’t forget, a mirror is just that, a mirror. It’s merely a reflective device to use so one can see one’s self to wash off all the dirt and grime. However, carrying our analogy of the mirror being like the 10 Commandments a little further, I’ve known so many people who have tried to use the commandments as the soap and wash rag.
Obviously, you don’t wash yourself with the mirror. It’s purpose is merely to let you know that you have dirt on your face. In like manner, when we look at the Ten Commandments and we notice there is something there that God has commanded us to do, but we’re not doing, that’s an indication that we need to go to Jesus and ask for His help. We need to ask for His cleansing blood to cleanse us as He forgives us for our disobedience. And after he has, we need to ask Him to go with us, as we go and sin no more.
Remember: A mirror can’t cleanse you. It merely points out the dirt on your face.
Remember this also: The Ten Commandments can’t save us. They merely point us to the One who can.