The Mirror: A Reflection for Change

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The Mirror

A Reflection for Change

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When Michael Jackson was touring in Japan in 1987,  a 5-year-old boy named Yoshiaki Ogiwara was kidnapped for ransom and killed. Jackson was deeply troubled by the killing, so he dedicated his 1988 single "Man in the Mirror" to the young boy. The song went to the top of the Billboard charts for two straight weeks, and it was one of Michael Jackson's most critically acclaimed songs. The theme of the song is change.

Change? We hear that word often. When you think about it though, it seems like everyone is demanding change of everyone and everything else. It's rarely directed inwardly. We so often look to others to change so that our lives will be better. The human perspective is usually that it's someone else who is at fault for our suffering and for making our lives miserable, so therefore they must be the ones that change.

Take for example the riots that have broken out in various cities in America So many advocate violence and destruction while demanding change. But here's the kicker: Real change, and the change that Michael Jackson was advocating in "Man in the Mirror," is vastly different from the destructive, other-focused change we see so often. Jackson's song was addressed to "the man in the mirror"—it's all about demanding change of yourself!

Real change means we have to stop blaming others for our problems. In order to do that, we must first seek God while looking at ourselves honestly. This process brings about repentance. We cannot make things better in our homes, in our personal relationships, in our community, or in our country if we don’t look at ourselves first.

Steve Goodier, author of Lessons of a Turtle, wrote: “An important decision I made was to resist playing the blame game. The day I realized that I am in charge of how I will approach problems in my life, that things will turn out better or worse because of me and nobody else, that was the day I knew I would be a happier and healthier person. And that was the day I knew I could truly build a life that matters.”

King David was inspired to write: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalms 139:23-24 Psalms 139:23-24 [23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: [24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
American King James Version×
, New Living Translation). I strongly recommend you read the whole chapter of Psalm 139.

God’s Word is our mirror to look into, to see the changes we must make. James wrote: “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like” (James 1:23-24 James 1:23-24 [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was.
American King James Version×
, NLT). God tells us to look in the mirror of the Bible and be convicted to make the change.

The result of real change is found described in Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 Galatians 5:22-23 [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
American King James Version×
). The blame game has no part in these godly fruits.

Yes, we are the man or woman in the mirror who must change! The Bible is the mirror that will help see the changes that we need to make. And God will give us strength to make those changes. The changes we make within ourselves will make this world and our surroundings a better place.

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