Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don't be a Mirror Man.

In my quest to find verses concerning perseverance, I found a delightful passage in James that I would like to share with you all. This passage actually got me thinking on something else that I know I really needed to hear, and thought I might share with you all.
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.

~James 1: 19-25
When I first read this I read James 1: 25 and immediately had the idea to write a post on persevering in the perfect law of liberty. However, upon reading the context of the passage, it was the analogy that caught and held my attention. I thought upon it for a few moments, and realized how it perfectly reinforced my thoughts from early today on how I had begun to hear the things of God, but was no longer doing them. I was falling into that pitiful rut of going through the motions. It struck my heart that I had been hearing, but not doing. I had thought in my mind "I want to be holy and righteous" but I was taking no action to bring myself to that state. I was being a mirror man.

To expound, a mirror man is the man who sees his natural state, pities and mourns over it for the length he reflects on his projected image, but turns his back and allows the image of his true state to slip from his mind. The next time he comes across his reflection, he repeats. He sees set before him his true nature, but is unwilling to change that reflection. Rather than allowing God to mold the image to reflect Him, a mirror man says "Oh my, look at that. I should try to do better next time." A mirror man is about himself. He sees the list of things he must be and do in order to be deemed 'righteous and holy', and quickly becomes overwhelmed, turning his back and allowing himself to forget. But a true man (or woman) of God, sees the image and cries out to their Saviour, pleading for the opportunity to be molded in the image of Christ. They seek out the chances that will allow them to do those things that will grow and strengthen them in more ways than one. They seek not the glory and fame, the shallow image of a good Christian, but rather the very image of Christ. There is a difference.

I suggest you take the time to truly study the essence of Christ and seek Him, rather than what He asks you to do. Rather than using actions to change you, allow Christ's work in you to change your actions. Allow his words to shape and mold you. When he gives you a command, do it. No matter how hard. Now matter how impossible. Allow your faith to carry you, don't try to carry your faith through. Persevere in the hard things. There is a reason we have to be doers rather than hearers. We aren't going to always desire to do what's right. We have to fight the desires to do otherwise, and make a concious decision to choose the hard and narrow path. Faith is not a feeling. It is a decision. Just as with love and compassion. You have to choose to believe. Choose to love. Choose to do.

The Gospel message is not for you alone. It is not centered on you. It is centered on Christ and intended for everyone. Hearing the Gospel makes it about you, and how you go about telling others. Doing the Gospel makes it about Christ, and shows the Gospel to the world the way God delights to do so. For this reason I say, don't be a mirror man. Don't hear the word, see your reflection, and allow the image to fall away from your memory. Do the word, and allow your reflection to be the face of Christ, always keeping it at the forefront.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I would like to introduce you all to one of my favorite sites and a great resource for teen writers. This is the official introduction video and it explains a good deal of what it's all about. My favorite thing about this place? The acceptance. The do hard things attitude. No one is told they aren't good enough. I will sum it up with a comment I left on the site just a few days ago:

"This community has most definitely impacted me! It has provided me with a fresh desire and passion for picking up my pen, and has given me hope that it is possible for teens to write well and be successful in their endeavors. And not only that, but I have been introduced to the first adult that is willing to take his time to mold and shape teenagers into great writers.
So many times I’ve been discouraged by adults who don’t think I’m very good, because, well, I’m a teen! They point out my errors, and instead of helping me find the solution they walk away, leaving me puzzled. That doesn’t happen here! Everyone gathers together, lovingly tears the given work apart and gently builds it into something far stronger and better. No one is slandered, put down, or humiliated here. It warms my heart and brightens my smile to see what goes on here at My only regret is that I didn’t jump in sooner, when I had the chance!

I can’t wait to see how this community grows and changes. This has the potential to change not only how the world views teen writers, but how they view themselves. I am so thankful for Caleb and all the other members of this community, and everyone who is yet to come!"