Scripture indicates that the person who looks into the mirror and immediately forgets what he looks like is a fool. In writing about being a doer of the Word and not just a hearer, James writes, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” James 1:23-24.
As followers of Christ, we must be careful that we take honest evaluations of ourselves and become increasingly self-aware. Often we encounter difficult people in our daily lives. It’s just a fact of life. The key to having positive outcomes as a result of those encounters has more to do with us, than it has to do with others. God is committed to conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). While the dysfunctional people we encounter may indeed need to be corrected or encouraged; the greater work to be done may be within ourselves.
When God begins to show you patterns in your life, take note. Are there many “burned bridges” in your life relationally? Have you hopped from one relationship, job, or church to another? Do you ever have recurring thoughts like: “they just don’t get it,” or “they are stuck in their ways”? If so, you might want to consider looking in the mirror.
Upon counseling a particular person, it became evident that they had one clash after another with different people. As the young man continued telling me about how his parents were so difficult to get along with, his friends had forsaken him, and how his fiancé had broken up with him, I asked him a question. “What do you see as the common denominator in all these relationships?” He looked at me with eyes filled with astonishment and said, “it’s me!” Exactly.