Many years ago, before I became a minister, I worked briefly as an instructor at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio; I wasn't much good at it, and a change of direction mercifully put an end to that episode.
Very little remains in my memory of those days, but one remark by 'Moneybags' the owner of the franchise, echoes within me down through the years.
The dancing room had four walls full of mirrors. The personnel were a dissolute sort, on the whole, and Moneybags, most of all. He spent most of his time in far places, but he would come in once in a while to beef up the help. On this occasion he said that most of us spent half our time looking at ourselves in the mirrors.
Shortly after that I replaced Arthur Murray's with the Baptist seminary; the mirrors became history.
But-- the mirror has come back; the blasted mirror! the inclination to look at myself, to imagine how I am impressing people, in various ways making them aware of "my greatness". You'd think after 50 years that pernicious habit would be a thing of the past, but no!
In recent years the good Lord has made me more and more aware of it. "What are you doing? Isn't there any better way to occupy yourself?
The picture in the mirror is becoming repulsive, like the picture of Dorian Gray. Is it too late????
No!, by God's grace . One can repent; one can turn to God and have his sins forgiven, and become white as snow. By God's grace. Unbelievable!
I become more aware of it day by day. It becomes increasingly hateful. I learn to stop it-- at least for moments at a time. I put something else in the place of it. Something like focusing on someone else for a change. Something like love!
The good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.