I looked in the mirror this morning and realized that I need a makeover. An extreme makeover. I am sagging and drooping and wrinkled. And it is sad because I do not have to be that way.
No, I am not talking about my physical appearance. I am talking about my heart. I have come to believe that we can think we are behaving as we should--being the kind of person God wants us to be--when in reality we are not pleasing God at all. And that is what I discovered as I looked into the mirror this morning.
It is very easy to become upset with others and not even realize that we do the same things ourselves. People can be thoughtless and inconsiderate, it is true. But so can I. I have not felt well this past week so I have been particularly self-centered and cranky. I guess it is all right to be that way when I am sick, but I believe I am that way quite often.
I am selfish. There, I said it. I think about what I need--love from my husband and children and encouragement from my friends. I think about how I want it and what I can do to obtain it. But how often do I think about reaching out first? Not often, that is for sure. It is much easier to wait for someone else to be the first to make a move. That way I not only do not risk rejection but I can also be offended when I fail to receive what I want and what I think I deserve. Let my husband tell me first that he loves me. Let my children call me up on the phone. Let my friends be the first to e-mail. I am selfish.
And greedy. I am very greedy. I have a closet full of clothes, most of which I never wear. This weekend I cleaned out five bags of clothes and shoes and I will never miss them. And I still have too many left--some of which I probably will continue not to wear. And I will buy more. I will be roaming the thrift stores in a week or two searching for more—unless something changes.
Oh, and I am proud. Instead of admitting when I am wrong it is so much easier to snuff out all humility and go on acting like I know I am right. And when someone mentions something that I do not know, I sometimes pretend I do know--because I am too proud to acknowledge my ignorance. And even on rare occasions when I do acknowledge it, I still try to save face by proffering something I do know just to make myself look better. I remember the line of a song that says, "Have you never let someone else be strong?" I need to learn to let someone else be strong.
I am ungrateful. God has given me the most wonderful husband in the whole wide world. He is smart, he is handsome, he is good and kind and gentle and loving and romantic, and he treats me like a queen. Yet I complain because he makes too much noise when I am trying to sleep. I actually become angry about it. I am ungrateful.
I have many more bad qualities, but that is enough. No need to be vain on top of everything else and talk incessantly about myself. I need a makeover. I want to change. I want to become the person my husband thinks I am. He loves me and he sees me as the pearl of great price. I want to be that pearl!
And my husband deserves a pearl. He is a diabetic and he wanted to give one of his kidneys to a complete stranger. Now that is the kind of selflessness I am aiming for—the kind I believe God wants me to achieve.
Where can I find a makeover for my heart? The Word of God, of course. And through prayer--and practice. I must behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord and allow Him to transform me into the same image (II Cor. 3:18). I need to stop conforming to this world and instead be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I can prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2).
If you are reading this, would you stop for a few seconds and say a little prayer for me. And so as not to be self-centered, before I finished this sentence I paused and prayed for all who may happen upon these words. May God bless you far above anything you have ever hoped to ask, and may you also grow in His grace and, if you need it, get the extreme makeover I am longing for.
December 30, 2007