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A Hungry God: Shattering the mirror (Part 3)

“Then God said, “Let us make47 humankind48 in our image, after our likeness,49 so they may rule50 over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth,51 and over all the creatures that move52 on the earth.”

1:27 God created humankind53 in his own image,

in the image of God he created them,54

male and female he created them.55” Genesis 1:26-27

A mirror is nothing more than glass that has been painted with silver reflective paint. Years ago, Mercury was added to the silver paint to enhance the reflection. Mirrors show us what we want to see and what we don’t want to see. They are helpful and hurtful. The mirror has no feelings; it reflects what you look like with brutal honesty. There is no escaping the reality of the mirror.

The image in the mirror or what you see is transmitted to your brain as truth. The truth about what you look like and how your body appears. I am not suggesting that we stop using mirrors as they are helpful tools that remind us to brush our hair, teeth and occasionally shave (if you are a guy). I choose to shave only once a week because I find it to be an annoyance. Yet every day, I look in the mirror and see the new growth and wonder how people see me. Does my untamed “Goat-Tee” make me look distinguished or just an unkempt Gen-X preacher with a propensity to defy the everyday clean-shaven look? It’s true even though I say I don’t care; I do value how people view me. Unfortunately, I put too much stock in what people say and behave based on my appearance. You see, I have a love affair with a mirror. I gaze into it, and I repeat the words of the evil queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The response comes back, “Not you.” My office administrator, Sara, reminded me that Snow White was utterly unaware of her beauty and what made her beautiful was how she loved the forest creatures and helped others. Natural beauty comes from the depths of our hearts. It is the outward expressions of grace that flow from God. You are a beautiful child of God.

Mirrors are gut-wrenching honest. Who we are and whose we are is not determined by our looks, body type, or how much we weigh? When we look into a mirror, we see a reflection? But that is not what God sees. God sees us as multidimensional faceted person bearing God’s image. We are a reflection of the Imago Dei. We possess in ourselves the DNA of Almighty God and carry that image into the world. No two people are alike. We are all different and yet the same. We look different, act, and talk differently, but all of us are embodied with the Holy Spirit. We are the people of God bound together by the shed blood of Jesus. When you look at yourself and begin the negative self-talk, you play into the enemy’s hand and begin to notice everything wrong with you instead of what is right with you.

Full-length mirrors are the worst. We critique our abs (if you are lucky enough to have them), stomachs, hips, thighs, legs, butt, chest, breasts (men too), and don’t get me started about feet. We spend time looking at stretch marks and scars from surgeries, and we wonder, “How could anyone love me?” We shame ourselves into believing that this human body is all we will ever be, yet when it comes down to it, our bodies will go to the ground, and our spirit will rise to be with Christ.

Bishop Al Wesley Goodwin once said, “We are not human beings having a supernatural experience; we are supernatural beings having a human experience.” Our human experience will be nothing compared to our eternal experience, and I am sorry to say you won’t have the body of Jennifer Anniston or Matthew McConaughey in glory. Instead, you will have a mystical body that God has designed from the time of your conception. This earthly body will pass. So why do we worry about it so much?

We worry about our bodies because everyone wants to be beautiful. But unfortunately, society has set an unrealistic standard for beauty. We quest after beauty like a princess or a prince that is heir to the throne. We live in a “GQ” and “Victoria’s Secret” world where flesh is praised and sexuality is lifted high. Unfortunately, this is a false reality, and we should stop looking to airbrushed models with perfect bodies to let us know our value. As a result, we fat-shame ourselves and those who aren’t perfect in their bodies. We are so hyper-critical of ourselves and one another it is a wonder we ever get out of bed.

What is normal, and who defines it?

God created us in God’s image and made us in the image of the triune God. We are not destined to be trapped in our earthly bodies forever. These bodies are temporary, and when we see God face to face, we will reflect God’s image for all eternity. It is time to shatter the unrealistic expectations that we have allowed to be placed on us by the media, internet, and the barrage of supermodels and Hollywood elites. Don’t let others dictate who you are or how you look. God thought enough of you that he sent Jesus into this world to die for your sins. You were bought with a price, and that is more than anyone in this world has offered to do for you.

It’s time to shatter the mirror. Go ahead and take a hammer to it. Then look into it. You will see multiple versions of yourself. That is how God sees you. A multifaceted, multidimensional supernatural being who isn’t predetermined by culture and society. You are a beloved child of God, a beauty to behold. What is inside will reflect on the outside if you stop, look, listen, and hear God call your name. “Beloved, you are my child, and I am your God, and you are beautiful.” Don’t be fooled by the image you see in the mirror. Shatter the mirror and take a look at what God sees in you. You are the Imago Dei -the image of God.

In Christ,

Rev. Daniel J. Bradley

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