Here’s something we’ve probably all experienced. Your picture is taken, by someone else or a selfie, and you look at the result and you’re horrified. Your eye goes right to all the things you like least about yourself, so you take another shot. You try a better angle or different lighting, hoping to hide the things you don’t like and maximize the things you do.
It can happen with mirrors, too. The other day I was trying on clothes in a fitting room and it was obvious that the mirror and the lighting were designed to make me look my best (which is understandable since they want me to buy what I try on).
We can do something similar when we read God’s word. Jesus’ brother James likened God’s law to a mirror that shows us what we are like. The problem is, God’s word isn’t like that fitting room. The lighting isn’t designed to flatter us, but to show us the sad reality of our sin and need so we might run to the Savior. Sometimes, to avoid owning up to our sin and need, we try the “creative lighting and angle” approach and try to understand God’s holy standards in a way that it matches our sub-standard level of righteousness.
So we should all be able to relate to the man Jesus will encounter in Luke this Sunday. He already knows that the way to inherit eternal life is by loving God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and loving your neighbor as yourself, but rather than acknowledging how far short of this he falls…
He, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
What he’s really asking is, “Who aren’t my neighbors?” If he can draw the “neighbor circle” around the people he is already loving, he can save face and walk away justified. But as we’ll see, Jesus doesn’t play his game. In fact, Jesus changes the question.
This Sunday Randall Gruendyke will be preaching Luke 10:25-37 and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And let’s ask the Lord to help us “look intently” at ourselves in the mirror of God’s word this Sunday, not seeking to justify what we see, not immediately forgetting what we see, but acknowledging what we see in humble repentance and faith.
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
Song Link of the Week
No list of sins I have not done
No list of virtues I pursue
No list of those I am not like
Can earn myself a place with You
O God be merciful to me
I am a sinner through and through
My only hope of righteousness
Is not in me but only You