-written by Trey Gass
In college, my roommates and I went through a phase where we would build music playlists with different themes or genres. We put together playlists for working out, studying, and hanging out in the room. We built themed playlists like beach music and for rainy days. We even made a playlist called “Estrogen” for when women came over to the apartment. (It was clean. We were young.)
One playlist we built was the “deep” playlist, featuring songs with deep thoughts on life. One of the songs we added to the playlist was “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. The song makes me want to snap my fingers and move my hips like Mr. Jackson himself, but if you slow down and listen, there is some deep meaning in the song.
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
It’s easy to point the finger at people. We say other people should do X, Y, and Z to get their life together, but we don’t do any of these same things ourselves.
I like Michael Jackson, but I try not to get all of my wisdom from him. I am more of Jesus fan than a Jackson fan. Jesus says something I think is a little bit deeper and a little bit more practical.
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Jesus, Mark 12:30-31
Jackson tells us to self examine; Jesus tells what to do with our self examination. When we look at ourselves for who we truly are we’ll find we are loved and redeemed people of Jesus. Now, when we “take a look at ourselves, and make a change,” the change we are called to make is look outward and love our neighbors.
One of our core values at Southern Hills is Christ in Me. Christ In Me is a reflection of what Christ is doing in us to change us and make us more like Him. This change is reflected by the way we love those around us. You want to know how well you are living out Christ in you? Take a look at how you love the people around you.
Jackson says take a look in the mirror. Jesus says your mirror is the reflection of the way you love people. Christ in you is reflected in the way Christ comes out of you. Let Christ in you guide you to love those around you this week.
-Trey Gass is the Community Pastor at Southern Hills, the Church at City Station. He has been married to his wife Emily-Jane for 3 years and they have a dog named George.