The Problem with the Mirror

How many mirrors does your house contain? How many times do you look to see yourself in them?

Mirrors can be a useful thing; you can look at them to see if your hair is straight, to see if you have your makeup on correctly or see how your outfit looks. They can be useful tools in your home for all kinds of positive things.

They can also damage your soul. Look too long into a mirror, and suddenly the world becomes about you. How you look can turn into feelings of overconfidence or inadequacy. There is this subtle shift from looking at my outward appearance to making judgments about myself.

The problem really isn’t the mirror itself. The problem is our soul. Spending too much time thinking about yourself in a narcissistic way is damaging. Self-focus primarily leads one of two directions. It either breeds pride or shame. You can think more of yourself and less of other people. The flip side is that you think less or yourself and more of other people.

I firmly believe that God knows our natural tendencies, and so he pushes us to be others focused. He puts us into a community of believers called the Church so that we can see the needs of others. He instructs us to serve others so that we can help those needs. God wants us to see ourselves as part of a greater group that is dependent on one another, and no one part is worth less or more than any other part.

It is okay that you have mirrors in your home just don’t look at them too long or too often. How you see yourself might be a symptom of sin and not a reflection of God’s image in you.

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