Do you ever feel like running for the door when the pastor starts preaching? This is a normal response. No offense pastors, but sometimes your teaching makes me want to cover my ears and stuff my face in a pillow. It’s not that your message is bad or poorly delivered. It’s quite the opposite. Your message speaks such truth into my conscience that I feel guilty and sometimes ashamed. I realize, sometimes for the first time, how much I have wronged God.
Almost every morning I put on glasses. As I’ve gotten older I’ve decided contacts really aren’t worth the two seconds it takes to put them in my eyes and certainly not worth the money most of the time. In my mad rush to get out the door, I often don’t properly clean my glasses, at least not in the way my dad recently instructed me to go about cleaning them. Before leaving the house the lenses seem perfectly clean. I rush out the door and as soon as the lenses catch a glimpse of sunlight I can see all the blemishes, all the impurities.
The same happens in church. Out in the real world of distraction we don’t notice the blemishes of sin until we sit down without distraction and take in the truth and examine our sin. Sin is an ugly thing. Like the smudges on my glasses it can blur the way we see things.
Fortunately we can take time to examine ourselves daily, reflect on where we have failed, and most importantly, revel in the fact that we are forgiven and reconciled. To examine ourselves is to shine the light of God’s word, His truths on our lives and let Him reveal where we have mis-stepped. This is not to cause shame, but to release the guilt through repentance.
To see the blemishes is to see the light, for in the darkness neither blemish nor beauty is seen. Would you rather live without seeing at all or live with seeing what can be made pure through the blood of Jesus?