When God Holds a Mirror

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. [He] sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, ‘There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.’ Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.’

Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! The Lord… anointed you king, delivered you out of the hand of Saul… gave you the house of Israel and of Judah… Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife…’ David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.’” 2 Samuel 11:27-12:9,13-14

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged.” Matthew 7:1-2

With an active, perceptive mind, why is it that we can more readily criticize another’s manner or behavior than recognize in our own what displeases the Lord? Even the self-serving can focus on others when it comes to judgment. But God, who is zealous about our sanctification, in grace holds up mirrors in our lives to reveal and convict us of sin. We may attempt to ignore our misgivings and walk away, but if we honestly look at our reflection in the errors we see in others, the Holy Spirit will reveal and redeem.

Where have we been quick to condemn or castigate someone, thinking ourselves above the possibility of falling into similar sin? Why do we denounce another’s foibles and tarnish them before others rather than consider our own actions and check our attitudes? Where do we smugly think more highly of our righteousness, self-control, and imperviousness to temptation than we ought? (Romans 12:3)

To rectify wrong thinking, a proclivity to judge, and our view of ourselves and others, we must nurture a high view of God. All of us have fallen short of His glory; every bit of our salvation is of His grace. It is in and by that grace He lovingly shows us to ourselves, that we might repent and be restored to Him. (Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 2:8-9)

Father, make keen my eyesight by the mirrors You hold before me. So sanctify me that I reflect You in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

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