I am often amazed at just how good we are at portraying the best version of ourselves, based on our assessment of ourselves.
Of course, it’s a natural thing to do as we all want to be well like and accepted by others. It’s a great feeling to be validated by others and necessary for good emotional and mental health.
When I was a young boy, one of my crazy fascinations was to stand in front of a mirror and get up close so I could see my eye pupils. I was mesmerized at how they would contract and widen and adjust to the amount of light exposure.
Sometimes I would get a flashlight and aim the bright light directly into the pupil in a vain effort to see what was inside. Over the years, I have come to know that is not a best practice!
It has been said that the “eyes are the windows to the soul.” When you see a person who has captivating, beautiful eyes, are you seeing the entire person?
Would you be shocked or surprised by your assessment profile from someone who knows you far better than you know yourself? To be honest I was, as this assessment also applies to me. Yes, me. The guy who thinks that for the most part I am a really good guy. The guy who puts on his best version of himself for the world to see.
By contrast the assessment of me by my creator is a bit different. Listen to his words regarding the core nature of mankind.
Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Now ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very strong indictment against the human race. And yet not one of us would fill out a resume and define our character as “evil continually.” Nor would we go on a first date and loudly proclaim that “all my thoughts are evil.”
I will not go into all the dynamics of the creation regarding how or why we were created in such a way to even allow for the flaw of sin to corrupt the perfect original. That most certainly is fascinating.
And as if the first assessment wasn’t bad enough, God reiterates again after the global flood with all of the eight remaining humans left to repopulate planet earth.
Genesis 8:21. “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.”
Recent events in our country has highlighted some troubling things that have existed in the heart of man for a very long time. While we would like to relabel some of our worst behavior, there is one word that is all encompassing and a very accurate description of what lies at the core of our problems.
SIN It’s not a pretty word we like to see or talk about, because it brings us face to face with the very assessment that God gave us, early after creation.
As a matter of fact some of us, myself included, have over the years done everything in our power to dilute it, cover it up, nullify it, or manage it, and of course rename it.
Interesting enough, the symptoms of sin show up daily in our lives. The last two weeks in America all of the symptoms were on full display for all the world to see.
I find it fascinating that while the talk show experts and gurus of human behavior give us sound bites of sure fire methods that will change, solve or turn the tide of events we have seen in the past two weeks, they remain blind to the fact that all of our best efforts is only putting band aids on a problem that requires heart surgery.
If your doctor diagnoses you with a severe heart condition that will require stints or bypass surgery, do you really want him or her to put large band aids on your chest over your heart?
Do you honestly believe that an outside display of doing something, even if it is totally ineffective will lessen the pain or prolong the inevitable?
Yet, we as the human race do this exact same thing daily when it comes to matters of the heart that need correcting. Racism, police brutality or a host of other things this country faces will not be solved with money, new laws, policies, a president, or more guns and bullets.
The problems we have witnessed the past two weeks, started in the hearts and mind of people. We will continue to see the symptoms of a sick heart, and there are many. From, drug use, to fornication, to hatred, murder, mass shootings, rioting, any number of problems we see in our culture.
To be honest, even though I am a Christian, I am stunned at some of the things that originate in my own heart and mind.
Fortunately the good news is I am currently undergoing heart surgery by my creator. It’s been a very long surgery!
Will we continue to deceive ourselves by treating the symptoms of our heart problem with band aids, or will we allow the doctor to fix the root of the problem within us once and for all with, you guessed it, heart surgery? How about you?