While in Phoenix a few weeks ago, Judy and I saw the premier of Lincoln. Great movie!
You may have noticed that on some pictures of Abraham Lincoln there is a wart on his cheek and on other pictures, it’s not there. As one artist prepared to paint his portrait, he had Lincoln move around. He said, “President Lincoln, will you sit here?” Then the man moved his easel and had Lincoln shift around again.
President Lincoln began to smile because he saw what the artist was doing. He was trying to get Lincoln in a position where the wart wouldn’t show. Finally the artist asked, “President Lincoln, how do you want me to paint you?” Lincoln replied, “Paint me just as I am—wart and all.”
God’s Word, like a mirror, tells us all about ourselves. Frankly, God isn’t shifting around like Lincoln’s artist trying to ignore the soul warts we have. He wants us to see Jesus as our best light even when we’re at our worst. The modus operandi for believers is no pretense
James cautions believers about looking into the mirror of God’s Word, seeing the flaw and doing nothing about it but he gave this encouraging thought too.
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25
May I say this is not about promoting a health and wealth ideology we often hear about in today’s world? That’s a theology which turns God and His word into a lottery ticket – where we can get the right numbers to become wealthy and healthy this side of heaven. Please hear me: There’s nothing wrong about having the desire for health and wealth. But, simply put, turning the Bible into a formula that we think is going to obligate God to do this is IMMATURE.
I don’t want God to soften my portrait just so I can feel better. I want him to paint me as I am and then, marvel at his love for me in spite of my soul warts. That love spurs me to honor him by obeying his word.
More and more, I’m thankful how God’s love is freeing me from living pretentiously. How important do you think His love is?