Are you losing yourself? When you look at yourself objectively, do you see the person you want to be, or do you feel like you’re becoming someone you don’t quite recognize? Life can be hectic and many of us are quite busy, but every once in a while it is good to take stock of ourselves and reevaluate where we’re going with our lives.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from [Christ’s] glory to [His] glory [in us], just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18)
The truth of the matter is that we become like those we spend time with. Spouses, families, friends, even coworkers–any group of individuals who spend any reasonable amount of time together, in fact–tend to adopt some of each other’s qualities. This is why God elsewhere warns us, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” (I Corinthians 15:33) Who we hang out with DOES matter.
Not only is this true on a human level–that we become more like those we spend time with–but it is also the case that the more time we spend with God, the more we become like Him. Today’s verse references Moses’ experience on the mountain. Whenever Moses went into the Lord’s presence his face physically absorbed some of the glory that eminated from God, so much so that the Israelites could no longer look at him, and Moses began placing a veil over his face!
Do you reflect God’s glory? When people look at you or interact with you on a day-to-day basis, do they see “…Christ in you, the hope of glory?” (Colossians 1:27) Or, do they see just another human being, driven by the same hopes, desires, aspirations, and lusts as everyone else? Yes, those who follow Christ are still physical human beings, but we have His Spirit in us! Yet if we aren’t spending enough time with the One we claim is our Lord, we will reflect Him less and less to those around us, to the degree that at some point, we may find ourselves having become indistinguishable from everyone else.
This brings us to a difficult question. Do I merely believe myself to be a follower of Jesus, or do I actually follow Him? DO I LOVE HIM from the bottom of my heart? Because if I love Him, I will not let anything else in my life obscure Him–block Him out. I will not allow any other goal, any other preoccupation or busyness, keep me from being with Him in His Word, praying, and spending time with others who also value Him to that degree. If I recognize Jesus and the privilege of being part of God’s economy that I am given through Him as that “one pearl of great price,” (Matthew 13:46), I will be willing to go and “sell” all I have to get it–to prioritize Him above all else!
So, again, are you losing yourself? When you look at yourself objectively, do you see yourself becoming the person you want to be, or do you feel like you’re becoming someone you don’t recognize? If you’re not spending enough time with God you will inevitably become less and less like Him, and may in the end, not even recognize your true self–not see anything of Christ in you–at all. Like the one brother in Max Lucado’s children’s story of twins stranded on a grey island awaiting the Captain’s return, wandering deeper and deeper into the center of the grey island causes us to lose more and more of the beautiful color of “Christ in us,” to the point that, eventually, we may be functionally indistinguishable from the ungodly. Remember Jesus’ warning that “…to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29 )
Yet conversely, continuing to keep looking into the mirror of God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship with other faithful and true followers of Jesus will have the glorious opposite effect, that of transforming us more and more into His likeness. It is doing this–abiding in Him, the Vine in Whom we, the branches, must remain–that will keep us from ultimately becoming someone we cannot recognize–someone whom, perhaps, even Jesus would not recognize as His own! May that never be.
Help me keep looking at You faithfully in the mirror of Your Word, that by doing so I may be “transformed into the same image from [Your] glory to [Your] glory [in me]…” (II Corinthians 3:18) Amen.