Spiritual facelift ∙
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. – Proverbs 23:7
2 Corinthians 3:18 So all of us with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon and a psychologist. He discovered that changing a person’s face often resulted in a changed personality and life. For some reason, a new face gave many people, but not all, a whole new life. In some cases, a new face resulted in no changes in that individual’s life. Maltz was fascinated and wanted to understand why.
Why do people get facelifts? Often it is because they are not pleased with their appearance. They feel bad about themselves. They have what is now called a “poor self-image.”
He began to focus on the spiritual and psychological components of the individuals he treated. Your self-image is tied to your self-worth. Maltz helped popularize the term “self-image.” Our self-image and patterns of thinking impact what we do. Our self-image or self-concept provides our mind with direction. It provides targets, goals, and aspirations.
Cybernetics is derived from the Greek term kybernetes. Kybernetes comes from the Greek verb kybernao, which means to steer. Kybernetes refers to a helmsman, steersman, governor, pilot, or rudder.
One’s mind automatically pursues goals based on your self-concept. Maltz coined the term, Psycho-Cybernetics, to describe this phenomenon.
The conclusion is relatively simple. Your self-image is not automatically transformed by changing your outward appearance. A psychological or spiritual facelift is frequently also required.
Dr. Maltz’s efforts in Psycho-Cybernetics helped launch a whole new genre: the self-help movement.
In modern times, Psycho-Cybernetics was only discovered in the 1950s and 1960s. But Solomon had it figured out three millennial ago. He wrote about it in the book of Proverbs circa 1000 BC.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
The Hebrew word translated as thinks is shaar. Shaar means “to arrange.” For example, a scale of balances or thoughts (Ross). Shaar has a sense of calculation. Thus it could be literally “as he calculated in his soul.” Hence, our inner thinking reveals our true self-identity. “Johns Hopkins noted that one’s ‘inscape’ determines his landscape” (Waltke).
Many “modern discoveries” derived from experience, thought, imagination, and reflection are no more than rediscoveries of what the Father said in His word thousands of years ago. Revelation precedes and often outpaces the discoveries of modern rationalism and empiricism. It’s fantastic to have a Father God that knows everything all the time.
REFLECT & PRAY
Our inner-thinking reveals our true self-identity “God is after transformed lives, not merely reformed ones” (Stanley).
Father how well I know that my inner-self is a feeble reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Encourage me daily to allow the Holy Spirit to change me from one degree of glory to another.
The Scriptures indicate that we act out what we think. They also describe how to go about transforming our inner-self. It requires “personal training” in an entirely different sense of the term. We invite the Holy Spirit to become our “personal trainer.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 So all of us with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is at work in the life of each child of the King. He transforms us over time from what we have been to what we will be. This makeover is a lifelong process. It is not an instantaneous change. It is not one and done. It requires spending a lot of time in the word of God. “As we train our minds to focus on the person of Jesus, as we meditate on Him, the Spirit begins molding us into His image” (Stanley).
We can see the Father’s glory in and through His word. His glory is revealed in His word. “The image of God that we see in the Word accurately reflects God though we do not yet see God Himself. We see in the mirror of God’s Word the Lord, not ourselves. We experience gradual transformation. As we observe Christ’s glory, we advance in Christlikeness and reflect His glory, not in our faces but our characters” (Constable).
Every day we probably look into a mirror. We always see the same thing, our own face. Paul says that the image in the mirror begins to change over time from our face to the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. The more time we spend in Father’s word and see His glory and the glory of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the more Christlike we become.
The Father is an expert at performing spiritual facelifts. He never earned an MD degree. He has something far more significant, a GOD “degree.”
The word translated as changed is metamorphoo in Greek. The English word metamorphosis comes from this verb. Metamorphoo describes the process that changes something from the inside out. We commonly use it when we explain the transformation of insects from larva to pupa and finally into an adult.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “presents a truth so exciting that I marvel so many believers have missed it – or ignored it. You and I can share the image of Jesus Christ and go ‘from glory to glory’ through the ministry of the Spirit of God” (Wiersbe)!
The transformation occurs in our minds. It is a process of renewal, remodeling, and reconstruction.
Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
There is a natural principle at work. We begin to take on the characteristics of the people we spend our time with.
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
With whom or what do you spend most of your time? Do you desire to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ, then spend more time with Him in the Word. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.
© Dr. H 2022