May 18, 2020
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Mirrors come in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes it’s a prophet who helps us see the blind spots in our lives. Sometimes it’s an epiphany that pulls back the veil and reveals the glory of God in new ways. But the greatest mirror, the mirror that gives us the truest reflection of ourselves, is Scripture.
The best form of self-examination is simply reading Scripture. Or maybe I should say, meditating on Scripture. After all, the Bible wasn’t meant to be read. It was meant to be meditated upon. And Psalm 51 is the quintessential example. You can’t just read it with your mind. You’ve got to feel it with your heart. And the way you feel it is by putting yourself in David’s sandals. The best way to identify with his guilt is by identifying your own guilt. Some truths can’t be accessed by left-brain logic. They are only unlocked in your heart of hearts. And that requires more than a glance in the mirror. Just as you study yourself in the mirror before an important date or important meeting (and I know you do), you have to meditate on the reflection you see.
The book of James likens the Bible to a mirror. Meditating on it is the way we can get an accurate picture of who we are. And it not only reveals the sin in our lives. It also reveals the image of God in us. As we meditate on the Bible, the picture of who we are in Christ develops like a Polaroid print.
When I was a kid, our family used to frequent a restaurant called White Fence Farm. There was always a wait, but I didn’t mind because the waiting room was like an amusement park. They had games to play. They had a car museum. And there were crazy mirrors, like at carnivals, that would distort your face and figure. I’d spend fifteen minutes contorting myself into every shape imaginable.
In a sense, every mirror is a crazy mirror except Scripture. Scripture is the only perfect mirror because it reveals how our Designer sees us. Most of our identity problems are the result of looking in the wrong mirrors. For many, culture is the only mirror they consult. They allow culture to define them in terms of what is right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable. For others, their primary mirror is the opinion of other people. And those mirrors, no matter how well meaning those people are, will always result in a distorted image. The only perfect mirror is Scripture. And the more you read it, the more you will reflect God. Why? Because the Bible is where God is revealed.
We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18)
If you want to discover your soulprint, you’ve got to begin and end with Scripture.
If you aren’t reading your Bible as much as you could or should, you’ll have identity issues. And let me go out on a limb. If you aren’t reading your Bible like you could or should, it’s probably because of some sin issue in your life. You don’t want to look in the mirror because it’s convicting. You’d rather ignore the diagnosis. But if you ignore it, it’ll get worse. And the Bible is more than an MRI that reveals what’s wrong. It’s also the best preventative medicine. It’s not only the best cure for identity problems. It’s also the best prevention.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.