Summary: God's Word is a mirror, which we need to examine ourselves in and make proper use of.
(Working With the Light, the Sword, and the Mirror)
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
February 3, 2013
People have an amazing ability to see themselves as basically good. This ability is deeply engrained in us. We start very young to justify our choices and to make excuses for our sins. Any experienced parent can attest to this. How often do we hear children, when they get into trouble for fighting with each other, make classic excuses such as the following?
“He started it!” “No I didn’t! She started it!” This exchange usually goes on until Mom or Dad stops it. What each child is really saying is this: “I am innocent. I have been sinned against. I didn’t do anything wrong. Johnny did something wrong.”
When a 14 year old is caught shoplifting, they often say something along the lines of “It’s not my fault. Somebody else put me up to it! She has taken lots more stuff than I ever have; in fact this was my first time!”
On into adulthood go the excuses, becoming ever more sophisticated. “Well sure my girlfriend and I are living together, but God understands, so it’s fine. There’s nothing wrong about it.”
We excuse deceitfulness as little white lies, or as just being kind, or simply getting along. We break the laws of the land if we happen to think that they cramp our style. If we don’t like the laws, we proclaim them to be “unimportant ones”, such as the speed limit, or the prohibition against marijuana possession and use.
We speak unkindly to our spouse, parents, or children, and excuse it by thinking something such as “She’s far from perfect herself. It’s not as though she never says anything wrong.” We also seek to justify ourselves by comparisons. “It least I don’t lie like politicians and lawyers! I get up and go to work! I don’t try to live off the system like half the people in this county.”
There is no end to the ability of people to fool themselves into thinking that they are righteous, or that they are at least righteous enough; certainly more righteous than most people. In spite of all self justification, the fact is that each person falls far short of the standard God gave us in His moral law.
Now let’s see what God has to say about this. (Read Romans 3:19-20)
Main Teaching Body of Message
The average person in the street believes in God and an afterlife. 50 Years of shutting God ever more tightly out of the schools has not been able to crush this basic instinctual knowing out of the Human heart in our land. Gallup poles as recent as 2011 show that 80% of Americans believe that a supreme creator God exists. Unfortunately, that same average person, who believes that God exists, also has no clue as to His standards, His requirements, His holiness. Only God’s own words, found in the Bible, can cause people to understand these things. Only God’s words can act as a spiritual mirror in which we can see ourselves as we truly are.