“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Are You Smiling at Me?”

Can you spot a fake smile?  Have you ever given someone a fake smile?  I’ll bet we all have at some point in our life.  Salespeople have a vested interest in offering fake smiles to their customers — with the used car salesman having honed this craft.  Have you ever seen a used car salesman who wasn’t smiling?

(I realize that not all salespeople offer fake smiles, but I also recognize it is in their “best interest” to smile even when they do not feel like it.

I just read an article about researchers at the University of Tokyo who have developed a mirror that makes a person appear happy even when he/she is not. A built-in camera tracks facial features in real time, and then tweaks the image to turn up the corners of the mouth and to create the beginnings of a smile in the eyes.

Now I have always believed that people look more beautiful when they smile; perhaps it is because a genuine smile makes a person seem more approachable and inviting.  But what purpose would a mirror like this have? Well, apparently, when placed in retail stores, researchers believe that “happy-face mirrors” will “improve shoppers’ disposition and lead to more sales”.

Really?  So, if I am sad because my puppy died and I go to the pet store and look in a mirror and see myself “smiling”, I might be persuaded to become happy resulting in a puppy chow shopping spree?   Give me a break!

Can we just call this for what it is?  Another attempt at deception.  When I look in a mirror I want to know what I really look like.  If I want to see a 175lb man when I look in the mirror, I can either push my son Patrick in front of me or I could buy one of those fun mirrors that makes me look skinny.  Either way I am deceiving myself. 

A mirror’s job is to reflect the truth about what one looks like – the positive and the negative, and in so doing, stir oneself to correct what is unsatisfactory.  If I look in a mirror and see a piece of broccoli between my teeth, you can be sure I will not walk away smiling at the world.  I don’t want need a mirror that is lying to me.

Did you know that I carry around a special mirror that always tells me the truth? It is very honest in its assessment of me.  It tells me when I am not so pretty, and to be honest, it hurts to see that reflection, but I also appreciate it.  The reason the mirror is special is because it doesn’t just reflect my face, it reveals my heart.  You have the same mirror; it is called the Bible.  And I am convinced that the more often I look into it, the more transformed into the image of Christ I become.

How about you?  When was the last time you stared into that special mirror?

In His Grip,



About terrylafferty

I am married to a beautiful Christian woman, Jennifer and I have 5 wonderful children. I serve as the minister with the North Hills church of Christ in Pittsburgh,.
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One Response to “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Are You Smiling at Me?”

  1. LeaAnn says:

    Very well said.

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