Life Without Mirrors

Can you imagine what life would be like without mirrors? Picture yourself getting ready for the day…you’ve brushed your teeth and start to brush your hair, but there is no mirror! How will you know how great your new haircut looks? What about the outfit? Does it work?

Not long ago, I read about a common practice among several monasteries of having no mirrors on the premises. None. Not in the bathrooms, not in the hallways, and not in the meeting rooms. Should a mirror show up in furniture or luggage or any such thing it is either thrown out or covered up.

Why would these monks frown on mirrors? Among the reasons given would be pride, vanity, self-centeredness, materialism, distraction, etc.

It may do us some good to “reflect” on this concept. Let us consider: 1 Samuel 16:7 “…man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

The Christian life is about our “decrease” and His “increase” (John 3:30).

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2; cf. 16:18; 18:12).

“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor” (Prov. 29:23).

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

Certainly there is absolutely nothing inherently sinful about looking at oneself in a mirror. Scripture takes it for granted that we will utilize the helpful function of mirrors (1 Cor. 13:12; James 1:23).

The Key: When we look into a mirror, we shouldn’t see ourselves—rather—we should see the one who lives in us (Gal. 2:20).