How to Live in Four Easy Steps. Part 4: The Example Has Been Set

Before you start reading, look into a mirror for a few minutes. Go ahead, it's OK - I can wait.

Now, what did you see? More important, who did you see? Are you happy with your reflection? Are there things in there you would like to change?

Mirrors serve a purpose, even if we don't appreciate the results of looking into them. They help us to see ourselves, to know our own appearance without having to rely on the testimony of others. But beyond reflective glass, there are other mirrors to help us see ourselves in a new light.

Through God's word, we can see our lives in light of divine measure. It is by reading God’s law that we are able to see our sin, our failures, and shortcomings. And even though we may not be able to see ourselves clearly, one day we will.

We also know that we are a reflection of God. God is love and love should be apparent in all our actions and define our lives.

He has also given us His Son, the ultimate example of how we should appear – both inside and out.

Isaiah 53 gives us the clearest example of how others saw Him (and often see us). He did not have an alluring appearance. He was despised. Despite being beaten and broken by others, He remained silent.

When we look at our reflection in light of God’s word it is Christ’s refection that we should see. But we are far from perfect. Sometimes we may see more of ourselves in the mirror, and less of Christ. But we can change our appearance, and Jesus has all ready given us His example.

Paul tells us that our attitude should be of the same “mind Christ Jesus had.” (Php 2:5) His very nature was fully God and in Him we are heirs in His Kingdom, but He never used his nature for his own gain. This is how we should live.

“He made himself nothing
By taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human being,
He humbled Himself
by becoming obedient to death.”
(Php 2:7-8)

To make ourselves nothing. To be humble and obedient, even to the point of death. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But just as Jesus’ reward was great, so is ours: life.

It is this gift of life that gives us hope. It is in hope that we live. And we are to live as a reflection of God. That reflection brings us full circle... God is love.

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Php 2:1-4)

Now, take a moment to look in the mirror. How do you like what you see? Me personally, I want to look more like Christ.

(Originally posted on What's Inside on 8/4/06)

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