Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Recently I've been encouraged to take a long hard look in THE MIRROR. I typically like looking in mirrors, flexing my muscles or making faces and what-not. But God has me in a process where I've been asked to look in the real mirror, God's mirror of truth which reveals the true Philip.

I'm reminded of the book, "Till We Have Faces," in which the entire book involves the main character's struggle with looking for and finding her real identity. I was going to insert a cool quote here, but I couldn't find it. Sorry. Read the book or ask Melissa as she wrote her undergrad thesis on the book. On a side note, I wrote mine on the reveered chairman Mao Tse Tung, as I felt I had a lot in common with him. The more I stand in front of THE MIRROR, the more I realize this to be the case.

In front of this mirror I see myself squirm and wriggle, it's so uncomfortable. I make excuses, blame others and do anything but accept the reality of my own moral messiness. For some reason, God's appointed this time in my life to be one of reflection and truth, a period in which I actually see some of who I am and what I've become. Thanks a lot God!

I guess I am thankful. For God is doing something in me that I can't tell you much about because I don't know what exactly it is. I know it involves transformation and making me more like his son, but he's the one doing it, so I don't know what the future holds.

That's hard, not knowing. I want to know that he'll remove all my little character defects and make me a useful kingdom servant. But God doesn't seem to work like that. He seems to take us through a process rather than an instant transformation. And as he's not dealing with "little character defects," this process is a divine mercy.

The fact that I can even look in the mirror, is because I've been given a face, the face of God's own son. His perfect right standing before God is my own. But God isn't done with me there. He wants me to look, from this position of strength, at some of my glaring sin. Thankfully he's being gentle. He knows that I couldn't handle seeing all of me at once.

So what am I writing about? And why am I sharing this with you? I'm not really sure. I've had two cups of coffee this afternoon and it has me feeling a little woozy and reflective. It has me in this weird conversation. I feel that I have something profound to say, which must be the caffeine speaking, and I feel nauseous, which is also the caffeine speaking. Caffeine, what a weird friend you are!

Am I writing to say something profound? Am I writing to encourage you? Are some of you being asked to stand in front of THE MIRROR too? Are some of you going through the excruciating but ultimately freeing and beautiful process of character transformation? Are you being asked to do things that go against every natural fiber of your being, simply because they are good and you are bad?

If any of these questions are yours, I think you're on the journey towards God in Christ. My guess is most if not all of you are faced with similar questions. And they're difficult. If you're like me you'd rather just take Christ's righteousness and coast through the rest of life pursuing self. Perhaps your reception of Christ is often like mine - a simple selfish act.

Selfish or not, I believe that Christ wants to transform you. He wants you to one day stand before THE MIRROR and just rejoice in what you see. To see what he's made of you. To see the real you as you were made to be.

We all hope we'll be fixed, healed and remade. For we all know or suspect there is something about us that is deeply wrong. This is one of the hopes of the Gospel. And the truth of the Gospel is that God's already doing it!

I hope we can find joy in the process and pain of this transformation and a hope that facing the truth about ourselves is the only way to a deeper experience of God.

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