Taking a Good Look in the Mirror of Truth
Posted by Todd Smith
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When you look into the mirror, what do you see?
In the classic Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the evil queen possessed a magical mirror that would answer any question she had. This queen was very vain and would often ask: “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
Most of you know the story. For years the mirror would answer: “You, my Queen, are the fairest of them all,” One day it responded that the queen was fair but Snow White was the fairest of them all.
Now this mirror based its response on outer beauty, but as we all know, beauty is only skin deep. What is on the inside of a person is where true beauty lies.
Tools for Character Growth
So in today’s lesson, I would like to use the analogy of this “magic” mirror but only as a tool to look at ourselves from the inside.
This magic mirror couldn’t tell a lie. Now imagine that you are looking into this mirror and you ask it, “What do you see?” What would the mirror say back to you?
1. Searching Questions
Do you take as much time to look at what is on the inside, your character, as opposed to what may be seen on the outside? Here are some questions to consider:
1. Do I see pride in my life?
2. Are my motives often selfish?
3. What is my overall attitude if things aren’t going my way?
4. Do I seek ways to serve others?
5. What do I see as my biggest personal weaknesses?
Asking these questions about one’s character is never easy, but if we take time to evaluate who we are, it can only help us to determine the kind of person we want to become.
As much as I don’t like to dwell on negative things, I feel that therein lie the keys to really improving myself, experiencing breakthrough, and passing the future character tests that are bound to come my way.
Let’s face it; all of us have areas in our characters that we can improve upon. I have learned on many occasions what my character weaknesses are and, unfortunately, the lessons have usually come at a price.
2. Past Experiences
One of my biggest character-revealing moments came a few years back when I allowed my own personal agenda to interfere with what was required of me in the office. I came to realize that I was more concerned with my wants and goals rather than recognizing that my priority from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. was to my employer.
As a result of this incident, I saw very clearly that I had selfish motives and was not giving honor to my employer. As a repercussion I had sacrificed the bond of trust that had been established over many years.
I will never forget the shame that I felt along with a sense of deep remorse for my selfish actions. It was a clear indication that I had some major weaknesses when it came to my character.
This incident was probably the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. For months I felt unsettled, even after my apologizing and showing true remorse.
Close to a year later I found myself returning to my employer and seeking to further reconcile our damaged relationship. Having had months to think about and analyze what happened, I came to the conclusion that I did not show honor to my employer and by not showing honor that meant that I was dishonoring them. I felt that the initial apology was not enough and was only a small piece in the restoration process.
I remember shaking as I made the call to setup a time to meet with my employer and shaking all the way through sharing my heart with them. It was not easy and it was extremely humbling to me. But I will share that the result of this conversation brought further healing to me and to them. A weight had been lifted and I am so thankful that I took the initiative to further reconcile our relationship.
Although we cannot erase our weakest character revealing moments, we can use these past experiences as a tool to help us grow. When you think back on these instances in your life, do you notice a pattern? Maybe selfishness is a common theme that you will find or maybe your pride got in the way and relationships have suffered as a result. Whatever commonalities or patterns you may discover, always look for the lessons.
Use your past as a tool to recognize, overcome, and improve your character.
3. Insights from Family and Friends
Once you have taken the time to self-evaluate by looking into the mirror of truth, I then want to encourage you to ask those who are close to you, to share in love their insights into your question: “How am I doing?”
The truth is that people will see things in us that we just don’t. If we are really looking to improve and grow, I think that asking those who know us and love us to tell us the truth is vitally important.
A Lifelong Journey
Improving our character is a journey—a lifelong process. We are never “there.” There is always something more we can learn—some new insights we will discover about ourselves. The key is to stick to the process. It’s important that we commit ourselves to improving the little things in our lives every day.
Once we start going in the right direction, we then have momentum. Momentum moves us forward and moving forward means that we are constantly improving.
To develop an honorable character, you must be vulnerable and willing to use all the tools available: honest self-evaluation, negative past experiences, and loving critique from family and friends.
Author: Jessica Smith is the daughter-in-law of Todd Smith and the cofounder of Moju Project– a website that sells t-shirts that save lives. She is passionate about advocating for orphans around the world and raising awareness about social injustices that are close to the heart of God. She is also a member of the Little Things Matter Mastermind Team. When not working, Jessica enjoys leading worship with her husband Gerrid Smith and spending time with her family and friends.
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