By Randall Vaughn
"And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. (2 Cor 3:18 NLT)
I like "one-liners" -- philosophies, principles, or concepts that can be expressed in one sentence, such as, "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."
An event took place in our family in the last quarter of 2002 that is unconscionable. 'Unconscionable' is defined as "beyond prudence or reason", in other words, "unthinkable". It is a "big word", but it is the only word that fits.
Without going into detail of the very serious circumstances that came "into play" in this matter, I can say with assurance that this was one of the most uncaring, vindictive, and heartless things I have ever seen done by someone who so adamantly professes to have a relationship with God. It was done by a mother to her son and grandson.
You see, this mother "talks a good game" of being a Christian. She knows the right words. She goes to church. She listens to preaching and teaching almost incessantly. Her "surface" behavior appears very "saintly". But, her actions have spoken louder than her words.
My daughter asked me about this mother at Thanksgiving lunch. Her question was, "Is (she) even a Christian?"
I carefully considered my answer. I did not want to give her a patronizing answer, because she deserved the respect of my true feelings. I did not want to be emotionally judgmental in the way I responded, because I have a responsibility as a father to teach my children how to respond to difficult circumstances through my actions. I knew she would be "watching" me. Her question was legitimate and deserved a "real" answer.
I responded, "Let me ask you a question. Do you see love or any of the characteristics of God in her?
"No.", my daughter responded.
I then asked, "What do you see?"
"I see bitterness, anger, hatred, vengeance, manipulation, not caring who she hurts...", and she paused to think for a few moments about what she has just said.
"Whose characteristics are those?", I asked.
They are not God's!" she said.
I closed with, "I cannot say whether or not she is a Christian. I can only look at her life and see who she exemplifies in her actions, because regardless of what she says, her actions speak louder than her words."
I believe that I gave my daughter, not just an answer, but a principle of life. I hope that I taught her, through my actions, to observe others, but reserve judgment for God. We can only observe what (and who) is reflected in their actions.
I have taken a "harder" look at my own life. What do I look like to someone who knows me well? What do I look like to my daughter and my son? Do I reflect Jesus in my life? Do I exemplify His characteristics in my actions? Or are my words and my actions saying two different things, as with the mother described above.
Whether I like it or not, I AM a mirror, as the Scripture above describes . People are looking into the mirror of my life right now, as I write these words, and as you read these words. I am reflecting something. But more than my words, I know that others are observing my life and actions.
As you read this message, take a few moments to look into a "spiritual mirror" and see the reflection of your life -- if you dare. But be warned! It may not comfortable!
Whose reflection will you see? Whose reflection do you want to see?
I hope you will make it your goal to "become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more".