Last summer, I arrived at my annual dermatology check-up armed with important information. I’d been enjoying a Wrightsville Beach family staycation at my in-law’s home. On the bathroom counter was a super-duper magnifying mirror. I’d never seen such magnifying power. First I was fascinated, then depressed when I looked at my face in the mirror. I took note of a small cyst in the corner of my eye. Then I saw lesions on my left under-eye area. My dermatologist would be grateful for the astute observations. She was always reminding me to examine my skin for new growths and I always forgot. This new information would make up for past failures.
As I described my discoveries, she quietly and calmly pushed her I-pad in my direction. I looked at the images and realized she’d captured, many years earlier, the very cysts, lesions and marks I’d recently noticed. Those imperfections weren’t obvious before because I wasn’t magnifying them. “You’re not the first person to come in with concerns after using a magnifying mirror,” she said with a smile. All of a sudden, my big skin problem dropped right off my radar. I felt at ease when I realized it wasn’t a huge issue until I magnified it.
What Are You Magnifying Today?
What are you blowing out of proportion?
Where are you making a mountain out of a molehill (as my parents used to say)?
What or who are you worshipping?
Extol, laud, praise, glorify
To increase in significance; intensify
To enlarge in fact or in appearance (magnifying glass or mirror)
To cause to be held in greater esteem or respect
Unhealthy Ways to Magnify
I’m magnifying worries, presently, that don’t merit their amplification. I don’t have control over the people and situations, yet I allow these thoughts to loom large in my head.
I’ve magnified decisions recently that don’t deserve the brain space I’ve allowed them. I’ve labored over how to let go of inherited treasures that have lived with me most of my life. I worry over how to find help with computer and writing tasks.
Recently, I magnified someone’s social media post and became irate. You have no idea how badly I wanted to respond. It seemed like the writer was wagging his index finger right in my face to tell me I’m guilty because I don’t agree with him. I unwittingly magnified the importance of his public statement and took it personally. I yelled at my phone and paced the floor with quick heavy steps. I rehearsed the words I’d say in response. Then, the Holy Spirit saved me from myself again. I realized not one good result would come from my comments.
I thought over and over about “magnify” and I realized:
What we focus on most, tells us what we magnify, or what we worship.
Fear has nearly paralyzed our country in the last year. No need to mention the reasons why; we all know. Why are we glorifying our fears over our worship of God?
Comparison is a common malady on social media. How can we focus on God and worship Him rather than magnify the importance of ourselves or others? Do we esteem celebrities too highly? Do we worship them?
What about desires I have for myself? Do I worship my comfort and pleasures?
People magnify many things:
cars and homes
What are Healthy Ways to Magnify?
We were created to magnify (worship) God. When we instinctively magnify our anger, our fear, and worries we’re really worshipping these things.
Mary, mother of Jesus, said,
“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”Luke 1:46
Imagine all the worries Mary could have magnified as a young pregnant, unwed Jewish girl. She knew Who deserved to be magnified in her life.
Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us lift up His name together.Psalm 34:3
We should start every gathering with this proclamation. Let’s help each other to minimize things that don’t deserve our worship so God will be magnified. Place Him First.
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.Psalm 69:30
C. S. Lewis, lets us in on what this “magnifying” talk is all about.
“For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I must decrease.”
For He claims us all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him. “The Weight of Glory
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence and glorify (magnify) your Father who is in heaven.
As we habitually magnify God and allow Him to have preeminence in our lives, He will use us to point other people to Him!