I enjoy the writings of C.S. Lewis. Many of you reading will feel the same way. God gave him wise and thought-provoking insights into daily living; or perhaps I should say, into how best to live daily. In his essay, Is Theology Poetry, he wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen — not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” I have often pondered this quote, meditating upon what it implies.
It is easy to look at all that takes place in our world, be it good or evil, and make a judgement upon it, based on our own understanding of God and His Word. We may rightly or mistakingly say, this is right and that is wrong. It’s important to have a grasp of God’s Word so that we can identify good and evil. However, we can also make a common mistake when we seek to be constantly looking at everything wrong. Our vision can be so far reaching that we lose sight of what’s in the mirror.
Jesus said something in this regard in Luke 6:42, “How can you say to you brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” Jesus is wisely teaching us to keep our magnifying mirror close at hand. We must first examine our own lives before we point accusing fingers at someone else’s. When we do this, and do it in honesty, we allow the Holy Spirit to both, create a clean heart within us, but also to see others with the same compassion Jesus had when the adulterous woman was brought to Him. That story is recorded in John 8:1-11.
Jesus did not ignore the wrongness of what the woman had been doing, but He forced her accusers to take a long look at their own selves first. Then Jesus, with compassion, urged the woman from that point of meeting Him, to walk in holiness, to acknowledge Him, to seek a path of goodness and rightness. It is no different for you and me today.
We need to rightly see the wrong of the world so we may pray with knowledge, and also pray with compassion for those who do not yet know the One who can set them free to a new life of joy and peace in the midst of any storm, and to forgiveness of any sin ever committed. However, before we can pray with a holy heart, we must first take that magnifying glass, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, take an honest look at ourselves, and then reach out in the love of God to help someone fallen to stand.