Originally published Friday, 24 August 2012.
Our perception of others may be flawed but true character will always be revealed before God.
We were driving down the highway. My eleven-year-old daughter looks at her hair in the side-view mirror and notices the words decaled on it. In a whispering tone she reads, “Objects in mirror may appear closer than they are.”
She smiles, turns to me and says with wisdom beyond her years, “Hmm, that’s true about people isn’t it?”
Yes, it is.
Today those words I’ve seen a thousand times on my side-view mirror do something inside of me.
We as followers of Jesus often disappoint one another without even knowing it. It is true; we often appear closer to the One than we are.
Many tweets, facebook statuses and blog posts throw out seemingly profound “Jesus-Words.” To those passing by these spoken thoughts, perception is often very different than reality.
I know this because I have been a word-fooler.
For a time, it may seem that we have successfully fooled ourselves and the world, but deep within us we know… there is no fooling God.
None of us escape the sin-factor. Each of us stumbles, slips, and falls. I know I am no different. Yes, I am a woman who stays in a constant state of needing her Savior’s forgiveness.
And while He gives this forgiveness abundantly, I know there’s more He wants from me.
Obedience to reveal who I am to myself.
This God-learning process teaches me: when conviction turns to training, godly character is built.
But this world consistently communicates: I will be rejected for my flaws. And so we hide our reality to others and ourselves. Things don't appear like they are.
I don’t thank God for this process because of how painful it is. But I realize how well each of us responds to this process will determine our outcomes. So perhaps I should have more gratitude for this sharpening tool of our God.
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."-1 Samuel 16:7
When we allow ourselves to be exposed to God the way He sees us [flawed yet so full of hope] we will begin to do things differently. Taking the time to allow ourselves to become aware of our unhealthy thoughts, habits, and behaviors will help set ourselves up for daily victory.
This takes courage my friends. It’s more than a good hard look at the reflection in the mirror. This bold move of asking God to show us what’s in our hearts is difficult.
The refining and improving of our own life is uncomfortable, yes. But perhaps the greatest gift we can bring ourselves today is to allow this process with God.