Have you ever stood in front of twisted mirrors at a theme park or carnival? Kids love to watch their faces stretch out of shape and laugh at their disproportionate bodies in the curvy mirrors. A mirror with random bends can make even the nicest person look like an idiot.
So could I.
If I am bent and twisted, I can leave others feeling disjoined and like misfits themselves. If you were hanging on the wall as a crazy mirror you might look at people through your lens and think they were really odd.
I wonder, though, mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most twisted of them all. If everyone you look at has a big head, it might be because you have a big head. If I see many rude and selfish people, could it be me that is rude and selfish? If most of the people I know are insecure or just live for power grabs, could this indicate a misshapen bevel in my life? I have discovered areas where I was bent out of shape. How ridiculous that I thought the problem lay somewhere outside of me.
How not to view people
Every piece of glass on the wall in the hall of mirrors tells you about yourself. One says your face was too long. The one after that says your face is too scrunched together. The next one says you are too fat. The next one says you are too tall. Next, you’re too skinny.
Each mirror points out obvious flaws, but whose flaws? Its own. The problem is not the person in the mirror but the mirror itself. Humans can be like crazy mirrors.
When you see glaring inconsistencies or personality quirks in a person’s life, could they be overdramatized in your view because you are noticing your own?
Straighten out others by straightening yourself
When you look at a flat, clean, normal mirror, you see yourself as you really are. If you have a flaw, you will see it without the mirror having to be bent or cracked or anything else to show flaws that do not exist. Do you want others to see their flaws for what they really are? Then be as flawless and full of accepting love as you can be.
If your lens in life is not warped, you will see others without any distortion. If your life is balanced, pure, loving, full of the Spirit of God, they will look at you and see what is missing or misshapen in their own lives. Godly living convicts others of their sin.
Love straightens out your life
Rather than trying to show people their own flaws, I need to take care of my own. Regarding this issue, I must first learn love, which covers flaws instead of focusing on them. A loving, considerate mindset toward others will straighten on the odd bents in one’s life.
Do I love? I feel emotions of pity, sympathy, or whatever you want to call it, but I’m not convinced it is love until I stop to consider what I look like through someone else’s eyes. Love is not about what I feel toward someone, but about how I make them feel. Look from that person’s perspective at yourself: from his or her eyes, do you see love? Perhaps all they see is pity or snootiness. They may only see a person acting out of duty or obligation. Do they see joyful giving? I could help the poor and make them feel more miserable about themselves or I could light up their world by acceptance and encouragement.
What do others see when they look into your life?
Love causes you to see others as better than yourself. Rather than making them feel like a grotesque distortion of humanity, help them feel dignified and valued. Love lifts up. Pity might just justify my smugness that I am better off than the person with whom I share my attention. Giving to someone in need may just feed my ego that I am better off than he or she. Love has to be more than just action; it is a new way of seeing the world.
It hurts to look at myself through another’s eyes, but until I catch that viewpoint, I am only pretending.