"Does This Make Me Look Fat?"
Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2016
There are few things in life that I avoid more than mirrors. I don’t really like to look at myself all that much. I usually look at my own reflection and notice flaws. I see the things that I would like to cover with make-up. I see the things that I need to cut, color, straighten or curl and worst of all I use the mirror to see how I look in my clothes. Is this too loose (not often enough)? Is it too tight (way too often it is)? Does this make me look fat? Did I shave my legs? Are my arms too jiggly to wear sleeves this short? I assess the damage and determine if I can leave the house or if more work is required.
Actually, how I look, what I wear and how it fits have a lot to do with how I feel all day long. But when I look in the mirror it’s not just the outward I see looking back at me. As mortifying as it would be for someone to notice my unshaved legs or jiggly arms, it would be a million times worse for them to see the ugly way down deep. I wonder if they will see my pride. Will they notice my untamed tongue that is often too quick to speak? Surely no one would find me attractive if they knew just how insecure, unqualified or unprepared I really am. Often when I look past the hair do and clothing ensemble there are days that all I see are the underneath things that I pray no one else will notice.
Colossians 3:12-13 says “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
It does matter what I wear. I am to be merciful, humble and kind. Not just for me, so I can look in the mirror and be pleased with what I see, but for others. I need to make allowances for their faults. As God’s chosen, my uniform must be forgiveness because he forgave me. When I make room for others to have faults, I begin to understand that we are all imperfect and broken. I am making that allowance for them because Christ made the allowance for me.
When I realize that the person who has offended me - that annoying, awkward and sometimes just plain rude person - also stands in front of their mirror each morning and observes all of their own imperfections. They see their own blemishes and pray that no one else will notice. They wish they were taller, thinner, smarter and more talented. They wish that they didn’t say stupid things. They wish that they had more friends and more money. They wish they had fewer faults and fewer insecurities. And they wish that their flaws were less apparent to everyone around them. People are people, whatever they are wearing. We all need someone to make allowances for us and we all need to make allowances for others.
The next 2 verses in that passage say “Above all, clothe yourselves with love…and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:14-15). In Christ there is plenty of love to put on to cover the flaws. When we are dressed in his love we can stop comparing and criticizing, we can see ourselves and others as Christ sees us. In that there is freedom. In that there is peace.
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