Smoke and Mirrors
Scripture: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV)
Observation: Ancient mirrors were made of polished brass or other metals. The contrast is between the inadequate knowledge of an object gained by seeing it reflected in a dim mirror (such as ancient mirrors were), compared with the perfect idea we have of it by seeing itself directly.
darkly—literally, “in enigma.” As a “mirror” conveys an image to the eye, so an “enigma” to the ear. But neither “eye nor ear” can fully represent (though the believer’s soul gets a small revelation now of) “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1Co 2:9). Paul alludes to Nu 12:8, “not in dark speeches”; the Septuagint, “not in enigmas.” Compared with the visions and dreams vouchsafed to other prophets, God’s communications with Moses were “not in enigmas.” But compared with the intuitive and direct vision of God hereafter, even the revealed word now is “a dark discourse,” or a shadowing forth by enigma of God’s reflected likeness.
Application: One of the most well-known characters in classic literature and in the movies is Count Dracula, the ghoulish vampire created by Bram Stoker in 1897. Since then, thanks to imagery portrayed in everything from movies to cartoons and even in children’s programs like Sesame Street, vampires have become synonymous with black capes and sharp teeth. Lately there seems to be a rebirth of vampire movies with the added feature of romantic themes as part of the main plot.
According to the traditional stories of vampires, in order to kill them you must use, among others, a crucifix (a cross with the image of Jesus on it), a silver bullet, or a wooden stake through the heart. But there’s another characteristic often featured in these dark tales: a vampire’s reflection is never seen in the mirror.
This last feature is so interesting. . . a vampire’s reflection is never seen in a mirror. You might be wondering, what does this have to do with our relationships? Well, let’s think about it; From the emotional point of view, do you see your reflection in the mirror? Can your spouse see the real you? One of the many reasons why some couples have a difficult time resolving conflict in their relationship is because one spouse, and sometimes both, refuses to see him or herself as part of the problem. They live in constant denial even when someone points out these traits or they don’t recognize when they have a bad attitude or when they speak harshly toward others.
Dating is a time to get to know each other. Unfortunately, at least for a while, people put up these “smoke screens” to protect themselves. It is only with time that we become more vulnerable, open ourselves up to the other person, and let them see us for who we really are. These mirrors, or masks take about a year to come off, which is one of the reasons we recommend that couples date at least one year before they begin to consider marriage.
If you wish to have a good, healthy relationship, show your real self, let there be no secrets, deception, or false impressions between you, but be true to yourself and your spouse.
A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to be sincere, open, and honest in our relationship so that we may see each other for who we really are and help each other be the best we can be.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
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