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Communion Meditations (2016)

Mirror of the Soul

Philippians 4:8

Originally scheduled for December 4

Most of us remember with some fondness our childhood days when we had someone heroic to admire. Your author is of the generation which remembers Davy Crockett and the Lone Ranger, both of whom paid particular attention to the correct formation of character in those they met. It’s normal for children to have people to look up to and admire. But did you know that adults do the same thing? To ask yourself who it is that you admire is to open a mirror to your soul. It’s true for children, it’s true for adults: whoever it is that you admire, that’s the person you’re trying to be. That is what I want you to examine this morning. Crack that mirror open and ask yourself, “why do I admire him or her?” The answer to that question will give you a good deal of insight concerning you, not the person you admire.

In this passage Paul outlines the contemplation of your mind examining someone or something. He gives us a list of tests we can apply to the people we admire — and ourselves.

o   Truth—the sense of fair dealing and honesty.

o   Honor—is the person one who deals uprightly with other people? Not a hypocrite, but one who walks the talk?

o   Righteousness—doing the right thing, doing it first, not last, and doing it no matter the cost?

o   Purity—is this someone clearly committed to faithfulness? The guy with the dirty joke, or the guy whose wife knows he is faithful to her?

o   Loveliness—the word originally meant “friendly toward.” Someone who never met a man he didn’t like?

o   Good reputation—has he practiced being a Christian so well that everyone knows it?

A consistent part of communion is self-examination. Look at the person you admire and look at what you’ve done to become like that person. Then look at the characteristics given above and examine their character in your life. You may be surprised at some of the ugliness you see in that mirror.

It is not sufficient just to examine yourself. If you find something deficient, you need a plan to correct it. Confess those sins, repent of them, and just possibly find your self a new hero to admire.

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