Looking in the mirror?

“God sees hearts as we see faces.” – George Herbert

How often do you look in the mirror to check your hair, clothes, or smile? For both men and women these days, life without mirrors would be a problem! 

After the people of Israel had been rescued from Egypt, God gave instructions for building a tabernacle. Moses asked the people to bring offerings from their own supplies: fabrics, jewelry, and precious metals. In Exodus 38:8, we are told many women brought their mirrors. 

These mirrors were made of bronze, not glass as we know them today. Do you know how Moses used these mirrors? He reconfigured them to make the bronze basin where priests cleansed themselves before offering sacrifices.

Think of what these women represent to us today:

  • They went from looking at themselves to looking toward God.
  • They moved from attention to outward appearance to attention to their spiritual selves.
  • They were willing to sacrifice the temporary for the eternal.

Peter echoes a similar understanding when he says,Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4). 

I think both men and women can learn from Peter’s message: We want our appearance to be pleasing, but how we look should not be our focus. Who we are on the inside is infinitely more important than what we look like on the outside. Let’s ask God to help us value the eternal more than the temporary and to look more at the inside than the outside, both in how we see ourselves and how we see others. After all, that’s what he does!

 

Feelings Matter

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“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” – Proverbs 27:19

How are you feeling right now? Mad? Sad? Glad? Bad? Sometimes we have to stop and identify our gut reaction to an event or circumstance in our lives. Why? Because it matters to our spiritual health.

God wants us to love Him with our total beings: mind, soul, mind, strength. That “soul” part is emotional. In my soul-focused journey, here’s what I am figuring out so far:

Feelings . . .
. . . help us become aware of God’s  specially-designed ways of calling each of us to Himself.

. . . encourage us to do more of what leads us toward God and joy.

. . . lead us to do less of what leads to sorrow and anxiety.

. . . help us see the difference between good and evil influences.

. . . bring vitality to intimate times with Christ.

One thing that helps me to learn from my emotions is to find time in the evening to review the events of the day in God’s presence asking questions like these:

  • When today did I feel most alive?
  • Was there a time when God felt especially close?
  • What activity or event brought about the deepest emotional response?

Then, I ask myself these questions:

  • What did I observe today that must be faced, embraced, or acted upon?
  • What do I feel God is calling me to do more of? Less of?

Emotions are one part of the way in which God directs our lives. Our feelings matter to us and they matter to Him.

So, what are you feeling today?

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” – – Helen Keller