Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Face in the Mirror

An AHA moment is that split second when someone's eyes are opened to a spiritual truth that changes everything. As Christ-followers, we can have AHA moments when God shows us that we're going down the wrong path in some area of our life. And then it's up to us to turn in the right direction.

Then there's the ultimate AHA: when non-believers finally wake to their need for Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That's not just life changing--it's literally eternal. When God's Light gets through, we can finally see. But unfortunately, the world still chooses to remain blind and enjoy the darkness of its existence. In fact, if you're a Christ-follower who's open about your faith, the world won't ignore you. Instead, it will likely accuse you of intolerance or bigotry. Just watch TV, surf the Web or read a magazine. You don't have to look hard to find articles or videos featuring Hollywood celebrities or "progressive" journalists who point their fingers at "narrow-minded Christians" and use the dreaded "i-word."

But depending on its context, is intolerance always a bad thing? After all, Jesus hates sin and declares Himself to be the exclusive pathway to God.
"I am the way, the truth and the life," He says. "No one comes to the Father except through me."
That's not very tolerant of Him. And His bold proclamation defies today's inclusive, politically correct environment. After all, it hurts feelings and suggests that some faiths are better than others. But society's demands for so-called open-mindedness and equality are irrelevant. Jesus has no tolerance for their false second-rate gods and allegiances.

As Christ-followers, we have open access to God's truth through the Bible, prayer and even wise counsel from fellow Believers. We should therefore have less trouble than others with telling right from wrong. But actually doing so is another matter. And that opens us up--and often rightfully so--to charges of self-righteousness and hypocrisy. That's because the world is watching us and comparing our Sunday morning words to our weekday deeds.

This fact tends to put Christ-followers in a delicate predicament. Since God has revealed His truth to us, it's easy for us to point fingers. But when we do, our other four fingers point back at us. 

So look in the mirror. Are your own words, thoughts and actions beyond reproach? Jesus was right on the mark when He said we must remove the plank from our own eye before we can remove the speck from our neighbor's eye. Is your would-be "sinner" someone who needs God's truth...or is he or she already a Christ-follower? Maybe they've never signed up for Jesus' walk of faith in the first place.

The answer should determine our response. But either way, Christ-followers must still hold themselves to a much higher standard. And on the flipside, we need to let God be the judge of others outside the faith. He knows the whole story...and we're hardly in the position to condemn anyone.

It's quite an AHA moment.

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