Mirror, Mirror, What Do I See?
There is a robin that returns to my yard every year from her winter migration. Sometime in the fall she leaves and early spring she returns right back to my yard. Whether she returns to my window from Florida or Texas, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt it is her. It sounds crazy and you might not be a believer but come spend a morning with me and you'll be convinced, too!
A few years ago I had reason to put a film on the outside of one of the windows in my bedroom. It is the same kind of film used at the police station on the window in the interrogation room. It has a mirrored side and when light is projected on it, one cannot see in. During the day, it's an outdoor mirror, but once light is gone, the opposite is true: it becomes an indoor mirror because light is coming from the inside of the room.
For some reason, my robin likes to look at herself at the first blush of day. Around 8:00 am every day, she sits on a branch and stares at herself quite possibly thinking there is a predator. She flutters over to the window and brushes against it as if she wants to come in and scare me away. If I was a bird lover, I would be convinced she loved me and wanted to get to know me. But, since she can't see me and I am not a bird lover per se, I would believe she likes to look at herself so much so that she travels thousands of miles from her winter home to catch a glimpse of her beautiful self!
Over and over she brushes her orange chest against the glass only to be swept downward to a lower branch or to the ground. Again she will lunge at the mirrored window and finally after an hour, she'll give up. And tomorrow the cycle repeats itself. She has never seen me sitting in my chair or on my bed watching her, but the habit has taken over her whole psyche. Day after day after day, again and again and again banging into my window sweeping across the pane to never have accomplished what she tries over and over to do...whatever it is.
This little scenario is quite intriguing. Many speculations have crossed my mind, but reading avian psychology has convinced me that she returns each year to raise a family only to find a reflection of herself haunting the safety of her young. And so she tries to scare this horrible predator away. Every time she returns to her nest, there sits the predator waiting to attack. She's her own worst enemy.
There is a lie we tell ourselves that grows into a considerable invader of our mind. This foe detracts us from things we are able to do and when we look in the mirror, it scares us. Phrases like, "Who am I to accomplish this task?" or "How could I make a difference?" or "Will I be able to keep up with this if I take it on?" or maybe even "So and so is much more qualified to do something...I don't have those sorts of gifts." The worst enemy is the one I look at in the mirror and sometimes I think she is an adversary to God's plans for me.
Self criticism is a circumstance sent to distract. Not the kind of criticism for sin in our lives--that would be an entirely different post. But the judgment that cripples us from living free and seeing ourselves as Christ sees us is a diversion to truth spoken into our lives. Romans 8:1 says,
There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Jesus, our brother, declares to us that we are not condemned. If we live in union with him, we know that kind of freedom. We can live in an accusation free life, for Jesus does not condemn us. We have every privilege and have been given the authority to live in that freedom.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.
Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.
Now we call him, "Abba, Father."
Romans 8:14-15 (NLT)
It certainly is not Jesus who stands in the mirror when we self castigate and unfairly judge. Looking into the mirror and seeing a threat to God's plan and not an asset is false and being led by the Spirit of God is evidence of family-belonging. We need to go to Him and ask Him to help us see what He sees.
Don't get distracted by the mirror. You're not that scary. God is standing behind the mirror watching you, wishing you could see what He does.