THE WAY THAT LEADS TO LIFE - PART 2
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Luke 9:35, 11:33-36
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness. Therefore, see to it that the light in you isn’t darkness.
It seems the better we get as a society of “keeping up appearances,” the more spotlights and zoom lenses are set up to expose the cracks in our makeup. Once we only had to keep up our front yards because nobody would ever look over the fence to see the mess out back. But our front yard has entered the digital age and can be seen from countless perspectives all across the world wide web. Even within the safety and comfort of our own homes, we must now maintain our public persona in a 24/7 world. We spend more time trying to figure out what to post on today’s social media “highlight reel” than we do enjoying all of the other ordinary moments of our lives.
The only thing we seem to love more than looking like we have it altogether, whether in person or through the screen, is trying to prove that someone else really does not have it altogether. There’s nothing like another person’s sin to make us feel less guilty and there’s nothing like another person’s scandalous shame to keep prying eyes from peering too closely into our own skeleton filled closets.
In a world ruled by the court of public opinion, we often settle for being just a little better than the next person. As the joke goes, you don’t have to outrun the bear. You just have to be faster than the slowest person in your group being chased by the bear. We have applied this principle to our moral universe as well. Morality and righteousness is relative, and so long as there is somebody in your circle who will draw more negative attention than you, all is well.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day lived in much the same way. Now don’t get me wrong, they truly did live righteous and morally upstanding lives, obeying every law to the nth degree. There was only one problem. Jesus didn’t evaluate them based on their ability to check all the right boxes on their “How well did I obey the law today” survey. Nor does Jesus evaluate us on our social media feeds or our public persona. (Although, if we are putting others down in the public square and acting like jerks on social media, we best not try to fool ourselves into thinking that our hearts are in the right place.)
Perhaps the cracks in our outward appearance have exposed some deeper concerns in our hearts and souls. The real question is whether or not we are willing to dig up the foundation to get to the root of the problem or if we will just keep plastering over the surface pretending that all is OK inside.
It’s amazing the flaws a few lighting effects can hide on camera, but when all the lights are turned off and nobody else is watching, what does Jesus see inside?