We have a lot to observe when we look at ourselves in the mirror. The physical appearance is the first thing we see, and we all have our ways of decorating the surface. We also have an inward appearance that we see. How do we ourselves inwardly?
First impressions seem to be important to most. We all put on our attire, fix ourselves as we see fit, bathe ourselves in fragrances and put on the happy face. We are concerned with how others see us. Underneath all of the outward lies the inward man or woman. We have a lot of methods of making the inward just as attractive as the surface appearance. We also have the ability to cover up the inside. The way that we present ourselves through speech, expressions and poise is noticed by others, so we put on a show for the outward world.
It is safe to say that we spend a lot of time on the outward appearance. That is what the majority of the world is concerned with. We buy the materials. We strive for a place within the many. We try to fit in somewhere in order to feel needed. We look for the happy mediums.
But really, do we spend as much time on the inward?
Some are very focused on the inward in the wrong ways. Some are so self-absorbed and so conceited that the world outside of themselves is of very little importance, and everyone they meet could “use some improvement” in their eyes. Some are very good at hiding what lies beneath as they interact with others. They appear to be great on the outside, but in the privacy of their spaces they practice their sins. A man may have a good job, be a respected citizen in his community and put on a great front for the world to see. But, behind closed doors, he has another world. One of dark fantasies. A completely abominable recreation that would land him in jail. Another man may display kindness and generosity as he goes about his days, but the agony of depression rests upon him as he retreats in the confines of his home. A woman works with the handicapped at a facility, and many praise and recognize her work. She receives the awards and has a respected place within her professional agency. When the doors are shut with her patients who cannot speak for themselves, she hits them, curses them and pokes fun at them. When she looks into her own mirror at home, she is proud of the coarse woman that she is.
I’ve only been here for, what statistics say, a little more than half of my life. It is truly a blessing to have risen again to see another day. I think lot about what I am leaving here as I go about the unknown number of days I have left within this world. I have also come to a place within my personal life that has me honestly thinking about the balance of the inward. I have the outward routine in place, and I really am pretty comfortable as I look at that outward appearance (most days). But, the inward man is always being refined.
My father, who unfortunately is no longer part of my life, spoke to me about refinement several years ago. He talked about the inner-changes that take place throughout our years. We were speaking in a Biblical sense, and he pointed out some key places in Scripture that had me thinking about the constant refinement our Lord positions within us as we grow in Him.
Here is a good article I ran across about His refinement:
Being closer to God is something I desired as I went through many trials within my life. I was no longer comfortable within what I saw in my mirror. I was losing hope and considering taking my own life. I was so incredibly bitter, very depressed and hated nearly everyone. Even the ones I loved and those who loved me were no longer important. The only thing that I was concerned with was destroying the inner man. The outward was dying along with the inward. Through a desire to find purpose in this life, I found a God whose character was nothing like my own. Through Jesus Christ, I have seen just what the inward man was destined to be.
When you look into your mirror, does the beauty go further than skin-deep? Is a refining process a possible measure that needs to take place within you?