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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

04 Nov '12

Personal reflection is only as good as the mirror one uses

Posted by T.J. Addington in personal growth, spiritual formation
Have you ever looked into a distorted mirror and seen a distorted image? Mirrors are great when they are well made. In the same way, our own personal reflection is only as good as the mirror that we choose to use in doing so.

Many people use those who are their greatest fans as their mirrors for personal reflection. It is convenient and exceedingly comfortable as these individuals will invariably tell us what we desire to hear. And what we want to hear are positive reflections.

King David knew the dangers of syncophants who simply told him what he wanted to hear. In the Psalms he does deep personal reflection in prayer and in the Word. What he finds is often not what he wants to see (Psalm 51) but to his credit he responds to the image he sees of himself as measured against the image of God.

If we neglect our mirrors and they become smudged and dusty, they cannot reflect back a sharp image and that is what happens when we neglect the world for any period of time. Our reflection is best when we use it regularly and keep it clean.

David also learned the value of those who would reflect back his behaviors in the person of Nathan who told him a story of injustice that struck David to the core when he understood he was that man. The value of people around us who can gently but honestly tell us the truth is huge in our spiritual growth.

In prayer we experience time exposure to God who will invariably speak back to our spirit. In the Word we have the sword that cuts to the marrow of our lives and in trusted friends we have others who can speak truth to us. These are mirrors we can trust. Many other mirrors will fail us and tell us what we want to see but not necessarily what we need to see.