Mirrors are pretty handy, how else would you know you have toothpaste on your tie or spinach in your teeth? The Bible provides a pretty good mirror too. Let me give you an example.
I was reading Matthew’s gospel this morning. I was fascinated by Jesus teaching in 23:8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
I have to admit these verses hadn’t leapt out at me before. Obviously, I knew that Jesus had spoken about servanthood being the key to greatness and I’d even noticed his downer on pride. But today, the difference was that I noticed these words reflecting my soul to me.
Sometimes, it is very easy to hear the words of Jesus and think, “Yeah, somebody has got it coming to them, those Pharisees so full of pride, so full of themselves, they are in so much trouble. But not me, I know this stuff, I know not to be proud……don’t I?” Well maybe I don’t. Jesus says don’t let people call you “Rabbi” or “Father” or “Teacher”…..and I added “Pastor” and “Vicar” and “Padre” etc etc. I get called all these things and that’s because these are roles I thought I “serve in”. But today the scripture like a mirror reflected to me a glimpse of my heart. It showed up that I really quite enjoy being titled, or honoured for who I am. I like to be treated differently because of my position. “Oh dear”, I thought.
Thankfully the little glimpse that Scripture shows us of how our hearts are often is enough to make us change. Sometimes I notice toothpaste on my tie at the end of the day and I’m embarrassed. I wish I had seen it earlier and I immediately take a damp cloth to the mark. It’s the same with the Bible and our inmost being: If there is something wrong I want to know and the scriptures help point it out. Wonderfully, God provides us with other mirrors too: Church, friends, home-groups, work reviews. All of these help to show us as we are rather than as we think we are.