When I was young, I remember going to local carnivals and standing in front of those “fun house” mirrors that would stretch your reflection in odd ways. Some mirrors would make you look taller than you really were; others would make you look thinner than you really were; still others would make you look a whole lot fatter than you really were. In other words, they totally distorted the picture of the real you.
Carnival mirrors are good for carnivals . . . but they are bad for Christians.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Here we find one of the most important truths of the Gospel: Freedom is only found in the truth. Seeing ourselves in a distorted reflection of a carnival mirror may make us feel better for a moment, but it is not truth. It is an illusion. Only the Gospel can free us to see ourselves for what we truly are: sinners in constant need of our Savior.
We don’t have to run from a painful past by distorting the present. We can simply rest in the truth of the Gospel that tells us each day that, regardless of our present circumstances in life, we are unconditionally loved and totally forgiven.
You see, the Gospel empowers the Christian to discard the distorted reflection we see in the carnival mirror and believe the true reflection we see in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel is conforming us more and more each day into the image of Christ. Yes, I know that change often seems to be frustratingly imperceptible, but it is still the truth!
Check out some of the great truths of the Gospel:
- We are free to win and lose.
- We are free to rise and fall.
- We are free to succeed and fail.
- We are free to laugh and cry.
And one day, when we get to the other side of the grave, the work of the Gospel will be completed. We will be just like Jesus. We will have the mind of Christ. We will have the heart of Christ. We will have the hands and feet of Christ. So between now and that day when you are brought into your eternal rest, hold tight to the teaching of the Truth and you will be forever set free from the need to see yourself as something you are not.
Jesus knows everything about you . . . and He still loves you! He knows your every thought, word, deed, and desire . . . yet not once has He forsaken you! So get rid of the carnival mirror and hold on tightly to Jesus Christ. When you do, you will live the life of freedom that is only to be found in the Gospel.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!