The Bible tells us to beware of looking into the mirror of God’s word, only to forget the reflection that we see. (James 1:23)
How do you respond when God puts his finger on specific sin in your life?
We have a choice of reactions…here are a few that we came up with in my small group last night: (sorry Dave, we were on a slight tangent!)
Ignore the ugliness of the reflection, rationalizing it away.
Delay coming to our Father in confession and repentance because:
We decide that we’re in too deep and repenting won’t make a difference.
We cherish the sin too much to give it up.
We want to try and clean ourselves up a bit first…surely he won’t give us the time of day, looking like we do!
Or…Let God deal with it.
This means the humbling decision to share God’s assessment of the seriousness of our sin, believing that the reflection we see in the mirror is accurate instead of rationalizing it away.
This means putting our pride and self sufficiency to death.
It means admitting that our acts of righteousness are like filthy rags, and we need the help of a saviour.
Sometimes it will feel like he must wound us more deeply in order to transform us, like a surgeon cutting deep to remove a tumour from deep inside us.
But we need to give him access, and surrender to his diagnosis and course of action, even if it’s radical.
And as we let him have free rein, we must also resist the temptation to give in to despair and self-loathing.
Sometimes I’m staggered at how ugly my sin looks in the mirror of his word, and I wonder if there can be any redemption.
It’s right to be humbled and to weep at the depths of our sin, before our holy God.
But in doing so, we remember.
Remember and trust that if you are a Christian, then God has been covering your sins with the blood of his son long before you became aware of them.
Rejoice that God is at work in you by his Holy Spirit, making you ever more sensitive to the things that dishonour him.
And look to your future! Ephesians 5:25-27 reminds us that Jesus has given himself up for his church that he might cleanse her, and present her to himself holy and radiant. And Revelation 19 paints a powerful and precious picture of the wedding, where his beautiful bride is given white robes to wear “Fine linen, bright and pure – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints”
Jesus himself will present us holy and without blemish one day, but until then don’t give up the fight against sin, there is too much at stake!
Stare intently into the reflection of God’s word, and submit to it, that your appearance would cause you to rejoice as you see just how much God is transforming you!