A brief conversation with my husband got me thinking about how grateful I am for some of the "Character Mirrors" in my life. A "character mirror" to me is any person who or circumstance that holds up a mirror to me, so I have the opportunity to see what I look like to them (and very possibly to God, also :-).
I've been a bit slow and resistant at times to pay attention to those mirrors, especially when the the people who held those mirrors were people whose actions and life choices I didn't respect, or whose messages were delivered in ways that seemed harsh or hurtful to me. My loss - I've learned that valuable critiques can come from those character mirrors, too, if I will humble myself and turn my head to gaze into their mirror, then look inside myself and to God for confirmation, clarification and correction.
So, I thought I'd post and give thanks for a few of the memorable "character mirrors" from my life thus far for my Multitude Monday gratitude exercise:
1. A high school friend who rebuked me sharply for telling someone else something he had told me in confidence. That was my adult introduction to the importance of guarding confidences - something that was an absolute basic requirement for the prayer and mentoring work I would do decades later.
2. A young mother who slammed me openly in a small group of women for leading a Bible study and NOT controlling/disciplining my young sons in the other room to her satisfaction. I learned I would not be allowed to influence others the way I wanted, if I did not have their respect. A KEY principle I needed to learn.
3. How I wish I had taken a good hard look when my brother-in-law first told me I was a know-it-all at the family dinner table.....was he ever correct!
4. Luckily, for me, I DID pay attention when he told me, years later, that I always had to be RIGHT (in any disputed matter). That comment pierced my pride and became God's surgical knife that opened an infected area of my past for careful examination, my choice to forgive, and huge healing to my psyche, which I had been praying about for years.
5. A car trip, during which, my husband and sons listened to me rant about a relative, then told me my reactions were quite out-of-proportion to the "offense" she had committed. I initially strongly denied it, but had the sense later to look long enough in the mirror they held up and to choose to "step back" and "jet down" from my anger. Not until much later did I realize I had made a scapegoat of the person I'd been so angry with to avoid confronting the woman I was really angry with and risk a close relationship being destroyed. That SELF-DECEPTION was so powerful and effective, that it has slowed me down in "pronouncing judgement" many times since then.
I've got many others, but you get the idea....:-)
I think listing more of these people mirrors as well as circumstance character mirrors would be a fruitful thanksgiving discipline for me. How about you?
(This picture was originally for a post idea that was to be titled "What person, in their right mind, would pay good money for these?" The rhetorical answer was SO obvious...... why waste time writing it?