Before meeting Christ, how you see yourself is like looking at yourself in a mirror in a hot, steamy bathroom. You can’t see yourself clearly. The steam fogs up the mirror and you can only see a blurry version of yourself. The steam is a metaphor for the things we tend to put our identity in, whether it is our careers, material possessions, relationship status or how many likes/followers we have on our social media accounts.
But as you get to know God and the more intimate you get with him, the more the mirror clears up. You begin to see yourself more clearly. Eventually when the steam clears off the mirror, you see yourself for who you are in Christ.
James 1:22-25 (ESV) talks about such a mirror. It says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” The mirror in this passage is an image for the Word of God. Mirrors usually show us our dirty faces in the morning and in my case, just how tired I am! This mirror (the Word of God) shows us our imperfections and sinful nature and directs us to obedience to God. It is from the Word that we discover more about God and our identity.
So if the mirror is the Word, how can we find our identity in it? Simple answer is to read and meditate on what it says. In the Word is how we can root our identity firmly in the Lord so that we can flourish in the courts of our God (Psalm 97:13). There are many things God calls us in His word, such as:
- More than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
- Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)
- Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
- Forgiven and redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
- Set apart (1 Peter 2:9)
- New creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Precious (Isaiah 43:4)
- Free (Galatians 5:1)
There is so much more in the Word. In Jesus, our identity changes. It is not in the things we tend to think it is in. In Jesus, we are different. We are free. We are whole. We are worth dying for. We are loved. We can only find our identity upwards, not outwards or even inwards.
I know some of these you may already know, but have you really embraced it? Taken it in? Absorbed it so that it is a part of you? Actually realise that God is talking about YOU! This is you now! His Word is truth and something we must meditate on. We live in an imperfect world and sometimes the steam will cover up the mirror again because life happens. But in those moments, draw nearer to God so that the mirror becomes clearer again. Because when you draw near to God, God draws nearer to you. It is from that place of rest (in God and your identity in Him) you can truly make an impact in the world around you.
But I think the only time we will see ourselves with utter clarity is when we are with Christ in peace and perfection.