My pastor preached an amazing sermon yesterday on forgiveness…something that all of us struggle with at some point. One of his points was that “When we forgive, we bring glory to our Heavenly Father because that is what he does. Our king feels disrespected by his unmerciful servants when we fail to reflect the mercy of our king. It shows that we are children of the father when we forgive.” I’d like to camp out here a little bit.
What makes a good reflector or mirror? Does it shine it’s own light? Does it say “Look at me and how awesome I am?” Or does it convey the glory of something greater than itself? The best way that we can glorify our Lord is to reflect his character to the world around us…that is our mission. We don’t have to be great apologists or theologians to simply reflect the truth that we know about our God. That requires that we think outside of ourselves for a little bit though…we are not reflecting our own skills and talents…we are reflecting the One who imparted gifts and talents in us…we are reflecting the One who walked with us through our experiences, joys, and pains…we are reflecting the One who has blessed us with the experiences and gifts of those we love.
I think we all have a different perspective of God because we have different experiences with him. If we would all be faithful to reflect the truth that we know of him, the people around us could have a more full and true understanding of him. For example, I have personally experienced aspects of his character that are forgiving, loving, healing, and personal. God has come to me and been a very real presence that is invested in my life. When I felt abandoned by people, I felt known deeply by God. I knew that he saw me…really really SAW me. I felt his tenderness during chaos, pain, and turmoil. I have felt his arms around me when my life was falling apart. I have also felt his presence when I have experienced joy, love, and forgiveness as well. (And believe me…I have a LOT to be forgiven of.) THIS is what I am called to reflect to people around me. It is my testimony. It is the undeniable truth that I have experienced of God.
A good mirror reflects what is in front of it. But here is the thing. I don’t want to just know my experiences…I want to know about your experiences as well. Please consider sharing them. I want to know your truth about God…how he has worked in your lives…because that makes my truth about him bigger. Also, if I want to consider your truth of him, that means that I have to be willing to go outside of my knowledge and comfort and hear you…really hear you…and the same goes for you if you want to learn from me.
I am pretty good at sharing but I am sometimes overly-skeptical of what others share with me. I am not saying that I should believe everything that every crazy crackpot shares with me but, when I respect people, I should hear out their thoughts before I jump to conclusions…I should make a judgement based on what I already know to be true about my Jesus. So how are you doing with this? How well do you share what God is doing in your life? How well do you listen to others who share with you what God is doing in their lives? How can you improve on this?
Picture taken from: http://www.fengshuiweb.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Feng-Shui-mirror.jpg