Broken Mirrors

November 2, 2017
Volume 21, Number 38

Those who are superstitious will quickly affirm the horror of a broken mirror. It’s sure to be followed by seven years of bad luck. One Internet site claims the belief extends back to Roman times. If it were true, we’d all be taking far better care of mirrors.

A story from Snellville, Georgia last week featured broken side mirrors on cars. The neighborhood was experiencing a rash of such problems, and vandalism was the immediate suspicion. After a few days of searching for the culprits someone reported seeing a woodpecker – a large pileated woodpecker – flailing away at its image in a car mirror. People in that community are now covering their mirrors with plastic bags.

I’ve seen something similar in recent months. A mockingbird that lives nearby can often be seen fluttering menacingly around cars’ side mirrors in our parking lot. So far no broken mirrors have been reported.

James used the idea of a mirror to illustrate the importance of heeding God’s word: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:23,24).

Reading the Bible is good, most of us would agree. But what good is accomplished if we merely read what the Bible says and don’t respond to it? Are we really paying attention to the image of ourselves that God is showing us?

Paul wrote about the time when God’s revelation would be complete. How valuable would that be? “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). Today we have that completed revelation from God; we call it “the Bible”. Those who read this Book properly can see themselves just as God sees them.

Some don’t want to know how God sees them. They’re like King Jehoiakim whose response to God’s message is recorded in Jeremiah 36:23: “And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.” The king broke the mirror God provided!

But breaking any mirror doesn’t change reality; we merely continue our self-deception when we deny the power of the mirror to show us who we are. The wise person will do just as James 1:25 urges: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Don’t break or cover the mirror God has provided for your benefit. Stand before it and take a good look at yourself. By heeding the Lord, we can become more like His Son!

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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