My morning routine includes the couple of minutes I spend looking into the mirror. This is not an exercise in vanity. It’s just the best way to examine my wrinkled mug; apply the shaving cream; and wield the razor to shave my beard.
As I was checking the stubble on my face, I thought of Paul’s statement to the church at Corinth: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).”
When you think about it, there are several times each day that you take the time to check the quality of some item:
- Bananas are checked to see if they are too ripe or too green.
- Apples are examined to see if they are bruised.
- When you buy something you check to make sure you have been given the correct amount of change.
How much time do you spend in spiritual self-examination? The Psalmist said: “I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies (Psalm 119:59).” When he didn’t like what he saw, the author of the Psalm ironed out the wrinkles in his life by turning to God’s Word.
The methodology of the Psalms was the same message espoused by James (1:21-25):
Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 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 observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
You have the freedom to look into the “perfect law of liberty” and to use it as a mirror to examine your life. When you do this, what do you see?
- Do you see a reflection of righteousness?
- Is there an image of personal purity?
- Do you recognize the features of faithfulness in the face you see?
A good mirror to use is a prayer in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Let me suggest this prayer as a daily test: Does this mirror reflect a life that’s infested by the ring-around-the-collar filth of the world or one that is invested in the spic and span principles of God’s Word?