The Mirror

We have now moved past the first week of the New Year and 2012 is off to a running start.  Many people are making resolutions and trying to stay on track.  A news story caught my attention recently when it stated that only 44% of people who make New Year’s resolutions will actually keep them and end up making a change.  With such a discouraging statistic, it’s pretty safe to say that New Year’s resolutions don’t really work. 

But what about having the desire to make a change spiritually?  What would it take to be successful in such an endeavor?  Well, I’m about to find out. 

In my last post, I talked about striving to mirror my relationship with God in all that I do.  So what does this commitment look like in action if I were to put it in place for 2012?  While others are looking into the mirror in order to measure weight lost and gained and physical appearance, perhaps I could look into the mirror and be reminded that I am called to reflect Christ.  Instead of focusing on my outward appearance and seeking to look presentable on the outside, I could look deeper and check the condition of my heart. 

Just last week, I found myself needing to check my attitude and consider if I was truly reflecting Christ in my words and actions.  I was frustrated and feeling as if I was being used as a benefit to someone else.  Nothing that I seemed to do merited any sense of gratitude from this person, and personal resources were implemented as a means to make things easier for this individual.  But did any of this benefit me?  No.  It only made me angry, and I quickly regretted opening myself up to being trampled upon, in a sense. 

Finally, I snapped.  I went online and vented to a friend via Facebook chat.  But instead of feeling better about releasing pent-up frustration, I came away from our conversation feeling worse.  What had I gained from sharing my burden with my friend?  Nothing.  I should have been wiling to serve another with a cheerful heart, but instead, I was succumbing to an attitude that was far from Christ-like. 

I have heard it said that there are certain people in our lives that can be referred to as “Extra Grace Required.”  I would definitely say that I was dealing with one of those people, and in that moment, my goal to serve in 2011 and my projected goal of being a mirror in 2012 suddenly collided.  How could I serve someone who required extra grace on my part and still reflect Christ’s love?

So I drew in a deep breath, took a step back, and closed my mouth.  I wanted to complain about the injustice of the situation and demand I be repaid, but instead, I did my best to quietly serve this person even though my heart wasn’t exactly in it.  It wasn’t easy and I’m still frustrated over what happened, but when I think about where my words of negativity could have taken me, I grimace.  My attitude and thoughts were far from mirroring Christ. 

Needless to say, I learned my lesson, and I am in need of a constant reminder of what it means to reflect Christ in my life.  So as a reminder, I now have a small hand mirror on my desk, and in glancing into its reflection, I am instantly reminded to check my attitude before reaching out to serve. 

I am still learning what it means to reflect Christ while serving, and I’m sure you will read more about this in the weeks to come.  But for now, I pray that my ramblings have caused you to check your own heart condition.    

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