Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reflections for October 14, 2009

"Windowpane or Mirror: Which Do You Choose?"

It seems every time I turn around, I am reading another article talking about research that demonstrates the downward spiral of the church in America. Statistics seem to support the claim that we are loosing the battle for the souls of men and women in our country. These articles are not coming only from the secular media outlets. They are echoed by Christian media outlets as well. This spiral is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for awhile.

The response of far too many in the church has been to rant more loudly against all the demonic forces in our society that have effectively thwarted the advance of the church. They have lashed out at the secular media, public schools, Hollywood, and promoters of ungodly lifestyles to name a few. They seem to forget that these forces in one form or another have always been a barrier to the church. While each one may have a negative effect, I suggest that a greater cause needs to be addressed, if we are to get to the bottom of these negative trends in our society today.

I suggest the greater problem is that many in the church in America spend too much time looking at the world through a windowpane. They look through the glass and see all the evil around them and become either discouraged or pumped up over their own righteousness. The assumption is made that what they see is the problem. Maybe we ( I include myself in this group) need to take another approach. Maybe we need to stop looking through the windowpane and to start looking instead into a mirror. Our mirror is not made of glass but is the Word of God. The writer of James writes about this: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (James 1:23, 24 NASB) The point is a man looks and doesn’t like what he sees and turns away unwilling to change.

If my thinking is correct, we are faced with a choice. We can continue to rant over the demonic forces in society that we have no control over, or we can begin to gaze long and intently into the mirror of God’s Word, letting it penetrate our hearts and change our lives. If we choose the later, those around us will not only hear about Christ, they will see what a life devoted to Christ looks like.

The latter worked in the first century church and I believe it will work today. How do you choose to live your life, staring outward through a windowpane or into the mirror of God’s Word? Your decision may determine the effectiveness of your witness.

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