Thursday, May 11, 2017

Got Spinach in Your Teeth?

One of the most uncomfortable feelings is having people look at me, snicker, turn away, gawk, or simply act uncomfortable. A true friend tells you there's spinach between your teeth, your zipper is undone, or your hair is out of place. Have you ever felt like you have spiritual spinach in your teeth?

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James says that looking into the Bible is like looking in to a mirror: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." (James 1:22-25 ESV)
 
Here are some simple observations:

  1. A mirror is only as useful as the person in the reflection. If I do not use what I see, the mirror is useless.
  2. A mirror is objective. It doesn't change the reflection, it simply shows what's there. Whether I agree or disagree with the mirror doesn't ultimately change anything. If I want the reflection to change, I must change.
  3. If I look at a mirror without a reflection (from the side or at a distance), I can believe it is true, right, even beautiful. A beautiful mirror, however, has little purpose apart from a reflection.
  4. Use of  mirror (or lack thereof) is obvious. The more I use it, the more adept I am at making changes. The less I use it, the more unkempt I am.

What are the implications?
  1. I cannot change (will not change) apart from the Word of God. It is only as I submit myself to God's truth and allow Him to work change in my desires and thoughts that the spiritual appearance of my life reflects God's. (James 4:1-10)
  2. God's Word does not change. I am sinful, fallen, far from the perfect ideal, but the Bible is objective and true. It honestly reveals my faults, failings, and the means of change (Isaiah 40:8, Romans 3:23, Romans 12:1-2).
  3. God used words to bring the world into existence. Jesus is the dynamic, living Word. The Bible is  not simply a decorative display; it is a source of change to those who believe and apply it. It is living, powerful and active. Through the Bible, His written Word, God restores us and gives us spiritual life. Through the Bible--the mirror of truth--He changes us and makes us His children, reflecting the image of His Son, like Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:3, John 1:1-3, 2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 4:12, Romans 8:28-29, 1 Corinthians 3:18).
  4. The more intently we look, the greater the change. It is not the looking that changes us, but our response to the image we see reflected back. A humble life reflects a godly image; a proud, self-sufficient life reflects a sinful, unchanged image. (James 1:25; James 4:7-10, Philippians 2:1-11).

Good friends point us to the Word of God as the standard and power of change. Got spinach in your teeth? I have a mirror you can borrow.

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