A memory verse we learned two weeks ago in all five of my classes was James 1:22-24:
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.''
We discuss the meaning and I bring up that Mom, in her late stages of Alzheimer's, did not recognize her own image. I tell the kids that sometimes at the end of the day, I look at myself in the mirror, and don't always like what I see. The kids finished this statement: 'When I look in the mirror, I see....' Every student is allowed complete confidentiality and some years, I do not even read any that request privacy. My students are very honest; some of their reflections will choke you up as you see yourself during your teenage years. Over the next few nights, I'll run some of the responses of those who were willing to share; boys are in blue and girls are in pink. These will be a mixture of 8th graders-freshmen-sophomores-juniors-seniors.
When I look in the mirror. I see a boy who wants to do good but is too lazy most of the time. I see someone who is confused sometimes as to what to do and his greatest weakness is that he struggles to see things in a long term mindset and this causes him to make stupid mistakes.
When I look in the mirror, I see a young man with the ability to do great but who doesn’t always do his best. He says he tries and he does, but in the long term, he still doesn’t get it. For sports and video games, this isn't a problem, but for tests and quizzes, it's always a problem. He studies his hardest, but fails in the end. He also wants to have a bright future and I believe God has one for him. He just needs to get rid of all the laziness!
When I look in the mirror, I see a person waiting for greatness to present itself. I see a person who can do great, but who lacks the faith that drives most people to perfection. I see trials and goals. I see a boy who wants glory, but is not ready for failure. When I look in the mirror I see myself, as a boy, waiting for greatness to present itself, but knows he has to present greatness to achieve glory.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl who is sixteen, but still unsure about her future. I see a girl with no confidence. I see a girl who is much different than who she was in middle school. I see a girl who needs more encouragement from her family. I see a girl who desires to travel around the world after she graduates from the university.
When I look in the mirror I see a young man, growing up to be a follower of God. I see a boy becoming a man in the eyes of God, facing trials and trying to succeed. I see someone who has no intention of hurting friends or family he loves. I see someone who learns from his mistakes from the past and works on not making the mistakes again. I see someone striving to be like his father and meet his dad’s expectations.
When I look in the mirror I see an ambitious young man on the verge of adulthood who is trying to get by, but would rather be excelling. I see someone who wants to help people, someone who wants to fight for the people, rather than against them. I see a young man who wants to grow closer to God.
When I look in the mirror, I see a girl, a girl who wants to feel perfect in every way. I see a girl who constantly strives for excellence but sometimes gets butchered back down with trials and tribulations. I see a girl who puts so much care into others but sometimes they don’t even care back. I see someone who sometimes feels like she is not good enough for the people around her. I see a girl, a girl who is scared of change even though change makes people grow; a girl who needs patience to wait on the right things. I see a girl, who has way more than enough love but it seems like she can’t find it in any teenage boy, yet, at least. I see a girl who wants to break down the glass of the mirror so she won’t have to judge herself by her looks (but in the words of Martin Luther King) by the content of her character. I see a girl who just wants PEACE; peace in the world and in her mind and in her heart. I see a girl who looks back at me in the mirror and sees “My World.” She sees that I want to escape. That girl that is looking in the mirror, that is me.
Applicable quote of the day:
“Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.”
― Jean Cocteau
― Jean Cocteau
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