Acts 9:17-18 – "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. (ESV)
Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (ESV)
During the move to our new house, the bathroom scales were broken inside. Now they tell me that I weigh a little over one hundred and fifty pounds. This is so untrue that I cannot swallow their declaration. My body has not seen eleven stones for thirty years. Of course, I might like to let myself be deceived by the odd stone or two, but not by a third of my weight!
My inner self declared the error as I hesitated near the full-length mirror in the bedroom! I could not get away with believing the untruth unless I deliberately set out to avoid my reflection, shadow, etc.
There are plenty of criteria that we all attempt to measure up to: our parents, fellow workers, people in our church (or the one down the road), our neighbours, those older, those younger, those with features and assets different from ours in any and every way. For each of us, the list is personal and potentially unlimited. We can be deceived, deluded, or obsessed by our judgement and comparison with values from this world, once we let our minds stray from the truth.
I remember the story of Belshazzar, who was weighed in the balance and found wanting by God (Daniel 5:27), and in the same night slaughtered. We may believe the world alone, but how will its values stand up against God's rule when we come to our day of judgement?
Jesus — Who sees us for who we really are — will one day take us into a new and perfected eternal bodily form, free from comparison, sin, and sorrow, with all our imperfections dealt with and cleansed.
In the interim, I believe Jesus died to set us free from enslavement to this world, with its false declarations, deceptions, and judgements. Today, by grace, we can hear the truth in Him.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that You have given us an inner voice by which today You speak into our lives words of guidance, life, and encouragement. Set us free from delusion, doubt, and sin, so that, by Your Holy Spirit, we can live and move in Your will for our lives again. Amen.