Devotional Series: A Biblical Guide to Reflection

The Most Wonderful Reflection of All

What is the most wonderful reflection of all? Perhaps it’s the reflection of Christ’s own glory seen when we look upon ourselves in a mirror. Yes, by God’s grace and through the Spirit we begin to reflect the very glory of God. Yet we’re just at the first stages of being transformed from one degree of glory to another. We are “clay pots,” to be sure, yet pots in which God’s glory is present. 

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Reflecting on God’s Word

According to Psalm 119, if we hide God’s Word in our hearts we will be enabled not to sin. Psalm 1 expands considerably on the rewards of meditating on God’s Word. Not only are those who do so happy, but also, “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Psalm 1:3). When we reflect on God’s Word, letting it fill our hearts and minds as it guides our lives, we will live fruitfully and resiliently.

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Reflecting on God’s Creation

Psalm 8 invites us to reflect on God’s creation of all things, including human beings. Compared to the grandeur of the universe, we are small and seemingly insignificant. But God has created us in God’s own image and entrusted to us the care of creation. The more we reflect on what God has created, the more we are led to exult, “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

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Reflecting on God’s Wonders in Difficult Times

In times of crisis and suffering, our reflections will not be easy. Sometimes we may even doubt God’s faithfulness. But Psalm 77 teaches us to reflect, not only on our difficulties but also on God and God’s wonders. Sometimes we’ll sense a tension between our current experience and what God has done in the past. That tension may even seem irreconcilable at times. But remembering God’s gracious actions in the past will reassure us even when our questions remain. 

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Reflecting in Difficult Times

Psalm 77 is one of the most intensively reflective of all the psalms. It is also stunningly honest in expressing the psalm writer’s pain, doubt, and lament. This psalm reminds us that honest reflection will sometimes take us to unsettling places. But, as we’ll see tomorrow, it doesn’t leave us there. Still, the example of Psalm 77 encourages us to reflect honestly about all of life, even the difficult parts.

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Reflection, Confession, New Creation

The Psalms invite us into prayerful self-reflection. Sometimes they help us to see ourselves as “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). At other times, however, the Psalms reveal the less-savory parts of ourselves. They summon us to reflect upon our sinfulness. But that’s not the end result. Rather, such honest reflection leads to confession and then to new creation based on God’s steadfast love and mercy. 

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Self-Reflection and the Prayer of Examen

An article in Harvard Business Review recommends self-reflection for leaders who seek to excel in their work. What they recommend is curiously similar to the centuries-old Prayer of Examen, a Christian practice of daily, prayerful self-reflection. If you’d like to become more self-reflective, perhaps you’ll find the Prayer of Examen to be helpful.

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An Even More Amazing Kind of Reflection

The fact that human beings can engage in self-reflection is amazing. This is part of what makes us wonderful. But more amazing still is the fact that God knows everything about us. Nothing about us is hidden from God. This could be a terrifying thought were it not for the grace of God in Christ, which invites us into God’s presence and receives us with mercy.

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Reflecting on the Wonder of You

According to Psalm 139, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our minds and bodies are intricate and beautiful. This is true even though sin has warped the goodness of God‘s creation. When we reflect on the wonder of our creation, we don’t glorify ourselves. Rather, we glorify and adore the God who created us.

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Looking in Reverse

By urging us to deal with the log in our eye before we focus on the specks in the eyes of others, Jesus calls us to self-reflection. As we honestly turn our eyes upon ourselves, we’ll see things we don’t like, “logs” that need to be removed. And we’ll also see things that are delightful, flowers of God’s grace growing in us. Wise reflection will empower us to remove the logs while nurturing the flowers so they might flourish. 

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From Rest to Reflection

Reflection flourishes on the foundation of rest. Or to put it the other way around, rest enables reflection.

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