“You weren’t an accident. You weren’t mass produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman.”
– Max Lucado
Do you dread seeing yourself in them?
Do you see every clothing flaw, facial flaw, and body flaw?
Mirrors reflect what others see.
Have you ever stood in front of a mirror, staring at your reflection, thinking deeper thoughts? Thoughts of, once again, you must look how others want you to look? You put on the correct clothes, the correct facial expressions, the correct personality, the correct… everything.
At the end of the day, when we relook at ourselves in the mirror, we see someone we hardly recognize. It is as if someone shattered our mirror, and we only see bits and pieces of the original us. The image is distorted into an image we fake. Anything different and we are forced to change our look, our thoughts, our opinions, and our lives.
How many of us step into church feeling like we are going scream from behind a mask that isn’t us? We are silenced by the shattered mirror telling us who we should be, how we should act, and what we should believe. Inside, the tension grows tightening a noose of a facade around our neck.
Our reflection becomes the artwork of someone else. Their lines, their colors, and their way of sculpting. We want to break free of that. We want our reflection restored to who God made us to be. Yet, fear binds our hands and gags our mouths from yelling, “Stop!”No longer the wonderful piece of art God formed us to be, but we have become made into a reproduction to look like every other Christian around us.
Is it time we fix the mirror broken by men, and restore the reflection God made for you to see and take joy in?
The God of Harmonious Aesthetic
When we think of the word “harmonious,” we think of things of separate likeness working together to form a beautiful work. Think of the various voice parts in a choir. Separately, the voice parts seem to not work together. But when sung together, a composition lifting the soul to the heavens sings in our ears reverberating off the walls of our mind. What comes to mind when we think of harmony? A piece of art? An architecture project?
What about the life of a person?
God designed us each uniquely. Psalm 139:14-16 assures us we are each made uniquely by the God of creation. He formed each part of us – the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. He planned each step for us. Psalm 37:23 promises that God knows every detail of our life, and he delights in it. He delights over every detail like an artist smiling at a canvas as each paint stroke colors a new part of a masterpiece.
Each of us are uniquely made in order to be apart of God’s harmonious aesthetic – the Church.
I Corinthians 12:12-27 is God’s masterpiece. He takes people of all walks of life (I Corinthians 6:9-11). He takes every person who accepts him, and he places them in the Church. He does not compare the church to an assembly-line product. No, God compares it to a human body. Each human body is formed with different parts – eyes, nose, mouth, feet, toes, kneecaps, finger nails, ears, genitals, ankles, back, ribs, lungs, etc. These parts look different and act differently from each other. Yet when put together, they form a human being.
Not everyone will be an eye or an ear. But, every Christian is apart of the body of Christ using their uniqueness to bring harmony to God’s church.
The Clone War
However, has this harmony been sung in the church or are we all forced to sing a certain melody? A group singing a melody can be beautiful to hear, but there is depth to singers harmonizing with each other.
“Stay in your place. You are better seen and not heard.” “You need to fit in better. If you want to be taken serious, then you need to act like everyone else.” Have we heard some of these reproaches or things similar by people in hushed tones? Have we been shamed by our thoughts, the way God is leading us, the actions we take, the way we live for God, because they do not fit in with the Christians around us?
Essentially we have been saying, “You are not an ear like us. You do not belong unless you are like us.” Our hearts become discouraged, and the burden of shame forces us to wear a mask and play a role made in man’s image.
The clone war is not biblical! Throughout Scripture, God uses many people with different personalities, skills, gifts, thoughts, and roles in order to bring about his masterpiece of redemption – Esther, Daniel, David, Deborah, Tabitha, Paul, Peter, Moses, Miriam, Gideon, Samson, Mary, Sarah, Noah, Ruth, Rahab, Boaz, Samuel, Habbakuk, Stephen, Timothy, John, etc. The list is endless. Sure, each one had faults, and they were not perfect. Yet, look at their various personalities and roles they played. God uses a variety of people. They lived their true reflection of God’s person, place, and purpose – his gift to them.
God does not want a clone army of Christians. He wants a body.
Your True Reflection
Who are you? How do you define yourself? Do you define yourself by rules, standards, an image created by man? Does your worth as a Christian come from how well you conform to rules or follow an image? When we find our worth in those things, we are allowing man to smash the reflection God created us to have. We are then forced to look at ourselves in distorted shards.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 reveals the wondrous mind of God. He gives everyone a purpose. Yet, Jeremiah protests out of fear – Jeremiah 1:6-8. He did not want to be different. He was fearful of what others would say. Sound like another person? Moses? Exodus 4:10-12 tells how Moses did not want to go, because he was… and gave every excuse. God responds with, “It is ok to be fearful. I do not want you to stick out and be ridiculed and shunned by your people. I will find someone else.” No, God reminds Moses who the true Creator of man is. It is in this truth Moses is able to live the plan God wrote.
We are made in God’s image. A Christian is made in the likeness of Christ. The fear of man can only rule in our hearts when we forget our true image. God created you with the interests, thoughts, and opinions he designed you to have. You are not a freak among the normal. Trying to answer the question, “What is normal?” is like trying to answer, “Is water wet?” It will only lead to lightheaded dizziness.
Search God’s heart – his Word. Listen to the Spirit. It is more difficult to follow the Spirit’s leading than to conform to man’s image. You must ask yourself, “Who am I letting control my narrative? Man or God? Who is my true Creator?”
It is only then a courageous fire will burn in you to have the bravery of Esther, the spunk of Paul, the determination of Daniel, the persistence of Peter, and the creativity of David.
Your reflection is made whole when we go back to our Creator. Look at who he made you to be and the way you think. You can only fulfill the role he crafted for you. You have no fear to conceal or hide. The fear of man brings a snare, but those who trust in the Lord will be like a tree planted by the waters blossoming for all to see (Proverbs 29:25; Psalm 1:2-3).
Your reflection is not found in the image of man. Your true reflection is found in your Creator and Savior.
A historical home is a typical place we hear the term, “restoration.” It means someone is returning the building to its original look and feel. The restorer goes back to the original blueprints to craft the process.
We are the same. In order to restore our reflection, we must go back to God’s original blueprints – his Word. We no longer have to lament with Mulan, “Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? When will my reflection show who I am inside?” Our reflection can show the world who God intended us to be – his redeemed masterpiece. All it takes is to reject the image of man and to cling to the image of Christ God is working in us.
Sure, you feel like the elephant in the room. But, do you know elephants symbolize strength, courage, and confidence. When an elephant is sick, the others will surround the one until fully healed and, once again, apart of the pack. We are all elephants in the room. We stick out. Yet, Scripture shows us time and time again strength, courage, and confidence in the lives of those who came before us. They are surrounding us, cheering us on, giving strength to our courage to be who God called us to be and to run the race God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
Think about this scene from Legally Blonde – Watch Scene
You have your personality, your interest, your thoughts, and your life for a reason. God gave it to you. You were born and are living for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). You may feel like Elle Woods, but God isn’t done with your story. He is going to use you. Your “oddities” will be the pieces God uses to stun the world (I Corinthians 1:26-31).
So, don’t go speechless into that goodnight of who God made you to be. Look at the pieces of your story, your person, your place, and your purpose. Take them and build a mosaic living for Christ. You are apart of God’s harmonious aesthetic. He takes delight in every part of your life.
Look to him to restore your reflection. You are beautiful and loved in his sight. Live for him and love with with all your heart, mind, and soul – just like he created you to do.