When we believe Satan’s lies that our sins ‘really aren’t that bad’ we fall into a prideful mindset that like the Pharisees can harden our hearts to the Holy Spirits promptings for repentance. When Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath day, He performed a miracle right before their eyes but they missed it due to their legalistic blinders. Jesus called them white washed tombs, because they looked put together on the outside but were spiritually dead inside.
As a child a homeless man once came into my church and sat down next to me. My first thought was that he smelled and his clothes were dirty, didn’t he know to get himself together before he came here! I saw the side stares and rude glances from the people around me and knew I wasn’t alone in my negative estimation of him. The judgment eventually because too much and he left. I immediately felt so guilty because maybe he wasn’t physically clean but he had a heart for God and came as he was. His dirt may have been on the outside but all of us were just as dirty, messed up and desperate for God’s grace we were just better at making our dirty look and smell pretty.
We have all fallen short of the glory of God, no matter what the sin none of us is worthy of God’s forgiveness, His unconditional love and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. We have to pray to see people the way God sees them, to look at the heart instead of the outward appearance. Jesus has given us the power, through His awesome love and the Holy Spirit, to live fruitful lives that will honor Him “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last” (John 15:16 NIV). I pray going into the New Year that I would be refined by the Holy Spirit and bear fruit for the kingdom, not to look good for or to others, but so that I can please the only One that is worthy Jesus Christ.
Praying for a safe and blessed New Year for everyone!