Pastor Mark Anderson
There must be a basic honesty about life, before God and others. Our society is consumed with the phony posturing of “image” and yet hypocritically claims to despise the phony. Yet, in some sense we are all posturing phonies, selling an image of ourselves that could not stand full exposure. And this is what finally matters as the stewardship of our lives is in put in the balance. God knows our actual motives far more intimately than we do. God sees the heart.
The “heart” as used in the Bible refers to what we might call the whole person. That’s what God cares about – the whole you. God sees all, sees behind the theatrical curtain of our lives, and still chooses to love, to have mercy. The outward appearance is only a part of you and you know it. Sometimes the outer appearance is better than “you”, sometimes it is worse. We are fooled by people when we only see part of them. But God is not fooled – and God still loves.
God sees the terrible potential for evil which we overlook in ourselves and yet quite readily impute to others, putting the worst contruction of the words and actions of our neighbors. God also works to bring good from evil. This we often fail to see in others, for we love ourselves too much and our neighbors too little.
The gospel is the Good News that God is committed to us in Jesus Christ. In your baptism God has named you His child. God sees your life from the inside out yet remains firm in his grace and love for the sake of Christ. This is His promise to you.
Honesty in this life does not mean wearing your heart on your sleeve at all times for all people. If you do, you will pay a steep price. For the world, as a rule, does not reward innocence and honesty. At the same time we can dare to be honest with Christ Jesus.
He knows us as we are; fearful, selfish, posturing as good when our hearts know better. Yet Christ Jesus wants only our good. Therefore we can dare to trust Him even with the sobering, humbling knowledge that from Him no secrets are hid. In Christ Jesus God has closed the gap between Himself and our sin. What this means for you as a Christian is that you may face the disparities in your life and the world, even this day, in the light of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”