“…I LIKED WHAT I SAW.  I was in… LOVE.  With the number one… coolest guy.  Mr. Big-Shot himself… me…!”

THE MIRROR TEST:  What do you see when you look in the mirror?  What do others see when they look, or interact, with you?  What does God see when He looks at you?  Do they see Love?  Do they see sincerity?  Integrity?  Truth?  Good example?  Commitment?  Forgiveness?  Fairness?  Security?  Compromise?  Compassion? Indulgence?  Respectfulness?  Narcissism?  Endurance?  Intuition?  Foresightedness?  Loyalty?  Faithfulness?  Experience?  Responsibility? Mercy?  Passion? And, how about Charitableness?

For many, many years… I struggles with this idea of LOVE.  You know the one… Love thy neighbor as yourself.  I embarrassed myself (probably), and my wife (surely)… on several occasions…. As recent as 6 months ago…. When I raised the question.  I’ve NEVER felt the sensation of loving myself.  I couldn’t relate to loving my neighbor…ugh… as myself.   I thought it …all… to be a bunch of ‘hog-wash.’

Then one day… a few months ago… here we go (confession time)… I caught myself looking ‘at myself… in the bathroom mirror.’   I know… what’s the big deal about that?  We all do that… all the time… every day.  I even do it when walking down the street, while looking in the plate glass window of a storefront.  But this time…. I realized something that I had been ignoring for over 77 years.  I LIKED WHAT I SAW.  I thought to myself… “Um…not bad…not bad at all.”  I was in… LOVE.  With the number one… coolest guy.  Mr. Big-Shot himself… me!   Imagine?

Then… I thought again…”Why you O’fool.”   What’s wrong with you?  It gives one a sense of what… “Get thee behind me satan” ….really means.

I couldn’t believe it.  I finally realized… what Jesus was talking about, as told to us in…Mark 12:30-31“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  “No other commandment is greater than these. “

So, hence… the Mirror Test.  I was ‘living proof.’  I hated the idea of it.  I couldn’t believe it.  Since then, and on several occasions… I avoided, actually… I abstained (as in… doing without) a MIRROR.  I NEVER thought that I myself ahead of others… and I don’t usually… but I discovered that I was GUILTY…as charged.  WOW!  The revelation of all of this…. Well, it’s CHANGED my life.  I promise.

It’s not that I’ve QUIT loving myself….can’t do that…but, now… I DISCOVERED… I Love my neighbor.  I’m WORKING on the ‘as myself’ part… but I’m making, and have made… a lot of PROGRESS.  And, my friends… that’s all God askes of us….to try.  Not, just in this commandment…. But all of them.  Since Adam and Eve taught us all about SIN…. And satan keeps reminding us…. Tempting us… and challenging us… we are sinners of the First Degree.

Back to the Mirror Test.  If you FAILED the test…as I did (seriously)…then, buckle down, and do something about it.  What we see in the mirror is the ‘same thing’ as what others see.  And, the bottom line:  If others don’t see the Image of God… not just in our reflection… but in our Thought, our Word, and our Deed… then we are destined to FAILURE.  Being a first-class LEADER of men… will NEVER be a sustaining feature in our life, without…. LOVE…. Of our fellow man.

…Blessings…cjlb… 7/13/2017  

About Charles Brooks

who is originally from Miami, Fla., moved to SC, holds two degrees from the University of SC. His business background is primarily in Real Estate Development (Motels, Hotel, Office Buildings, Restaurants, Residential) and Business Consulting. He currently is Managing Director of Brooks, Baker, Lehman & Kohlhepp - Investors in Real Estate and Mining, and has other business interests under the umbrella of Brooks Properties. FULL-TIME-MINISTRY: Fully engaged in spreading the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the Business Community.

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