For the last few weeks, I had been growing a beard. But whenever I looked in the mirror, I was always underwhelmed. It looked like I had mange. Also, Shannon didn’t like it and because she’s the only one I am always trying to impress, Saturday morning, I shaved. That’s when I made one of the most startling discoveries of my life.
As I wiped off the rest of the shaving cream and stared in the mirror at my clean-shaven face, I was horrified. I was missing my upper lip.
I looked in the sink, but it wasn’t there. I looked on the floor, but it wasn’t there. Just as I was about to panic, I had an epiphany.
I ran into the living room and looked at family photos. They all showed the same thing. I have never had an upper lip. For my whole life I’ve been a one lipped wonder, and no one cared enough to tell me. How is that possible? I never knew.
But if you look at history, I am not the first person to live with an illusion.
The slave trader, John Newton thought he was a great Christian until one day, as he was sitting in the cabin of his ship, he heard the screams of the slaves shacked in the decks below. That was the moment he realized he had lived an illusion. In response, Newton wrote the greatest hymn of all-time, Amazing Grace.
The first verse says, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” Newton finally saw the truth. But John Newton was not the only one.
As a Pharisee, Saul thought he was the most devout follower of God, until one day, God struck him blind on the road to Damascus. That was the moment Saul realized he had been fighting against God instead of fighting for God. In response, Saul became Paul, the greatest missionary of all-time.
In order to live as people of grace, we must see ourselves for what we really are. We are not righteous people living in a fallen world. We are fallen people living in a fallen world. And as we offer Jesus to those who are lost, we must remember that we still need his grace each moment of every day.
This is what Jesus meant by saying, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
Today, take a moment to look in the mirror and see a person who needs God’s amazing grace. This is the best way to start the day.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, thank you for loving me. Mold me into the person you want me to be. Use me to help others understand and accept your gift of grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
God’s grace is the only thing that saves us. God is good!
Also, just for the record, if you see an upper lip lying around, please save it for me.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.