Headmaster Blog for Nov 5, 2012 – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

If you have visited my office (and I hope you have), you may have noticed a small mirror on the wall by my door. For
obvious reasons I don’t have it there to check my hair and the older I get, the less I want to see a reflection of myself. I
have this small mirror in my office, as I have had it in previous offices, for a particular reason: As I leave my office I need
to be continually reminded that the person I see in the mirror is the person for whom I am answerable. I am the only person
that I have the responsibility to change. In this respect other people are not my “projects;” not my wife Val nor my daughter nor
my son nor their spouses nor anyone else. I am my project and believe me, I am a full-time job (and so are you for you)! I am
the only person for whom I will give account when I stand before Jesus Christ—and wouldn’t I love to be “perfect” at that
moment (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10).

When I look in the mirror I would like to see perfection, both outside and inside, but I don’t—and neither do you when you
look in the mirror. We’re in this together and, as a “perfect” expression of our sin nature, we try to hide our imperfections from
each other and from God. In the United States alone women spent over seven billion dollars last year on make-up and will
spend $50,000.00 on their hair in a life-time (I am told there is even a form of make-up called a “mask”). While most men may
not spend that much time in front of a mirror, we’re pretty good at hiding behind machismo (Between 2001 and 2003
American [men] bought 5,600,000 ATV’s and 2,410,00 off-road motorcycles and the numbers have only gone through the
roof; mea culpa, I drive a Jeep). Our futile pursuit of perfection is so costly in so many ways. We behave just like our first
parents did when, after they sinned, they tried to hide from each other and from God (cf. Gen. 3:1-10). Like them, I want to be
perfect and I know that I’m not, so I hide my imperfections. When will I stop hiding? When I’m PERFECT!1 Guess what, it
doesn’t stop there.

I don’t need a mirror to see you, and vice versa. I also want you to be perfect and I know that you are not and sooner or later—
apart from the intervention of God’s Spirit–I will attack your imperfections and you will attack mine. This is also what our first parents did (cf. Gen. 3:11-13), and it’s what we do. When will I stop attacking you, and you me? When you’re perfect and so
am I. And how has that been working for us over the millennia—not very well? According to the Apostle Paul this is the way you
expect a pre-Jesus person to function; someone who lacks the presence of the Spirit of God (cf. Gal. 5:16-21). Sadly, many post-
Jesus people choose to continue the behavior, hiding from and attacking others, while resisting the efforts of the Holy Spirit to
transform them (cf. Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-26). Someone has cynically said, “the Church is the only army that shoots its
wounded.”

Early in our school year a parent suggested that we seek to be known as an “Ephesians 2:1-8 kind of school”. In that passage the
Apostle Paul said, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Of course this begs the question, what would
Jesus’ attitude be toward this erosive cycle of hiding and attacking? When all of her accusers had left the scene Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “. . . neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11). The Apostle John says, “God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world . . .” (John 3:17). Jesus said, “Do not condemn, or you too will be condemned” (this, of
course, in the context of taking the plank out of my own eye before bothering about the speck in my brother’s eye; cf. Matt. 7:1-
6). Hmmmm.

A Godly culture of communication and relationships is always served better by expressing more vulnerability and humility in ourselves and showing more grace and patience toward others. I can only make that choice for me, not for you. However, I can offer a challenge: Let’s read and memorize Philippians 2:1-8. Then pray with me that we as a community at Summit will be increasingly known as this kind of school? I guarantee there will be more joy in the journey for all of us and God will surely bless.

Headmaster Blog for Nov 5, 2012 – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall