“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Adjusting the Mirror

(Please read James 1:28)

September 9

Have you ever noticed how carefully we arrange the lighting for the nonportable mirrors in the house? Then when we pause to pose, we’re satisfied that the most flattering view of ourselves is the truest one — never mind the other, less attractive angles from which others see us.

Likely we look at our spiritual selves about that same way, emphasizing our “best side” by thinking of all the good things we do, and even daring to compare ourselves with someone we consider to be worse. If we happen to be jolted — by a sermon, an encounter or something we read in the Bible — into suddenly seeing our real selves, we may be appalled at what we see.

Isaiah had such an experience. In a vision he saw God in his splendor; and seeing himself in a flash as he truly was in contrast to such a scene, he cried, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips. . .” (Isaiah 6:5, NIV). Similarly, Peter, when he first saw evidence of Jesus’ power, felt such remorse that he groaned, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8).

Not that either Isaiah or Peter was a terribly bad man. But in those moments they saw their own imperfections and were changed by what they saw. We can come close to the same experience by diligently examining the “perfect law” and comparing ourselves to what we find there. Let’s do that now and see ourselves as we really are, while we have time to make corrections through the grace of God.

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