1 Corinthians 13:12 ~ "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
Years ago, in ages long before we walked upon this world, the mirror was once called a "looking glass." It was a highly polished metal sheet that was used to try to see yourself. The mirror described in our text is that very thing, a looking glass to try and see the condition we are in.
And our view is obscured, literally darkened and hard to comprehend--an enigma.
When a person looks in a mirror, unless they are a narcissist, they are trying to see if everything measures up to the desired condition or if they are in need of some repair before they venture into the world at large.
What are we looking for? What will help us to see that we "measure up" in our spiritual appearance? Well... the context of this text is--love.
Paul just went through the entire expression of what love is supposed to be, and then he declares that when he looks at himself in the mirror, the view is obscured. And such is the view of all who are in Christ. Beloved, have you seen little in yourself that resembles the Lord Jesus and His love? You're not alone. As we look into the mirror the image that we see fails to measure up.
But, remember, our view is obscured. You do not even see yourself correctly. Shrouded by the constant companion of our former sinful condition--a condition that seems to hang on despite our rejection of it (see Romans 7:18)--we look at the mirror and our lives just do not seem to reflect correctly the image that magnifies and glorifies God. We are supposed to look like Jesus in His character and with His love. And we can barely see Him in our reflection.
But, beloved, do not let this bring you to despair. If you are born again, you are clothed in His righteousness. And though it may not shine through when you look at yourself in the spiritual mirror, it will be revealed in the moment you step into His presence. We see dimly now; we shall see with absolute clarity then--even face to face. It will be the full revealing of the love of God in us. We only know in part--in a very limited understanding of our life in Christ. Then we shall know fully--even as we are fully known by Christ.
If you know Jesus as Savior, and He knows you as one of His redeemed, the Lord does not look upon you according to the former things, but as a new creation.
So, continue to strive in the love of Christ, building yourself up in the faith (see Jude 1:20-21). There will be growth, your reflection will improve. You will put off the childish ways of your old self and begin to mature in His love. The perfection of His love will increase (see Matthew 5:43-48) in you. And then, one day, you will see Him as He is--and perhaps with great astonishment--you will see His perfect reflection in you.
In His Grace,
From the Mountains to the Sea
Every step we take on this journey called life ought to be used for greater understanding. I've lived from the mountains to the sea, and this blog is my personal thoughts and observations with a desire for Biblical understanding. Welcome.