It might be your friends, your siblings, your spouse, but they can all be living mirrors.
There are no two ways around it. When we are dealing with people, we are going to face difficulties. Difficulties, stem from differences in personality, the way we were raised, preferences, character, our nature, and sin such as pride, arrogance, lust, and un-thoughtfulness. The question is, when you face these difficulties in relationships, what are you going to do with them? Are you going to navigate your ship directly into the storm and work through the difficulties, or are you going to steer around them, avoiding them at all cost? *
In addition the Lord impressed this question on my heart. Why is God allowing me to go through a struggle with someone? What purpose does he have in it? Asking these questions has allowed me to gain some insight about myself. In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus talks about judging others. I am quick to judge and make assumptions about other people, but Christ revealed something to me that hit me like a ton of bricks. God can use other people to reveal sin, and character flaws in our own lives. For example, I may hate the fact that my friend is inconsiderate of other people. But instead of allowing bitterness to grow in my heart because he was inconsiderate to me or someone else, I realize that I am also inconsiderate of him, and other people. He is mirroring a flaw in my own life.
Here is some commentary on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:3-5. Jesus here is talking about the logs and splinters, and how that relates to judging people. I am very quick to see the splinter that is in other people’s lives, but not as quick to see the log in my own. But get this, splinters come from larger objects of wood……..like logs! Follow my logic here? I think Jesus was teaching here that before you go judging someone else about a specific sin, look first at your self, and you will find that same sin exists in larger proportion. In other words, people can be mirrors in our lives.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16,
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (ESV)
So for us to begin seeing Christ in others, we must begin shining forth the glory of Christ. But before this is possible, we must receive the instruction of 2 Corinthians 3:18:
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (NASB)
When we gaze on the immense Glory of the Lord, our lives will become a reflection of Christ and will naturally shine forth for others to see.
In conclusion I will say that when I face difficulties in a relationship, I must go to God and rely on Him to give me grace to make it through those difficulties, and work through them with that person that we may become more like the Lord who died to have a relationship with us wretched beings. Be a mirror, and reflect Christ to those around you!
*Thanks to Pastor Telfer for the illustration.