“And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into his image from one degree of glory to even more glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
In my initial readings of this verse, I focused on my place within an unveiled – not hidden or covered – experience of God. In other words, I recognized the progressive benefit of experiencing God.
Reflect the glory of the Lord.
Progress in his image.
Increase in his spirit.
Eventually, after multiple readings, meditation, and prayer, I saw the need to flip that perspective. Yes, my activity – my reflecting, progressing, and increasing – are important and demand my contemplation and effort. More important, though, is the object of this reality, that which creates the opportunities I have to reflect, progress, and increase – to manifest – God.
When I look in a mirror, I usually check my hair, or I look to see if my mascara is smudged. Sometimes I check to see if there’s anything in my teeth or maybe if how I’ve arranged my scarf looks okay. I also look in the mirror to perform various self-care items to my face. I’ve never really look – at least not with any regularity – for the glory of God in my own face when I look in a mirror.
Christ’s payment for my sin allows me to see God’s glory in my own face, in who I am and who I am becoming. It began a spiritual transformation that begins with seeing and contemplating, with increasing understanding, the nature of Christ in me.
What this verse is saying, then, is that not only can I see God’s glory literally and figuratively in myself. I am becoming more like him, too, as I become more like Christ. And this happens not through self-will but by the Spirit of God.
Practically, for me, this means that reflection is not just an exercise in personal growth and goal setting. It’s much more significant than that. Reflective practice exists as a habit for allowing me to progressively see God through every aspect of my life. That truth will take some time to settle in my spirit.