The Smudge on Your Face

 dirty-face  Have you ever had a friend tell you that you had a smudge of grease, food, or make-up on your face?  What did you do?  If you’re like most folks, first your mind races with questions like “How did that get there?”  “How long has it been there?” and “Who else has seen it?”  Then, if you are caught in this kind of situation without a mirror, you rub your face at the point you estimate the blot to be and ask, “Did I get it?”  

   Your friend responds, “No, you smeared it!”  

   You roll your eyes, rub again and ask, “How about now?”  

   “OK, you’re fine,” you’re told; and you believe it.

   As Christians, we may mistakenly try to deal with sin like a smudge on the face.  At first we don’t realize it’s there.  Then we’re not sure how it got there.  Next we blindly try to rub it off before too many others see it.  Our inability to see ourselves and our pride combine to make our spiritual faces into messy smears of sin.  Folks tell us we’re OK, and we believe them without checking a mirror.

   God has a solution to the smudges of sin.

    1. He has given us a Mirror.  God’s word is like a mirror in which we can see our spiritual selves. He wants us to look regularly into the mirror.  When we look into the mirror of God’s word, we can clearly see the smudges of sin.  We can see whether or not we are doing what we ought to be doing.  The person who wants to do right and keep the smudges off “looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it” (James 1:25).  God’s mirror enables us to see what needs cleaning.

    2. He has given us a cleanser.   “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7b).

    3. He expects us to clean ourselves up accordingly.  God has provided the means for us to clean ourselves through His grace when we see that we have been stained by sin. When the Psalmist asked, “How can a young man cleanse his way?”  They answer was, “By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).  Even today, by following the instructions of God’s word, and taking advantage of the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood, we can cleanse away the smudges of sin.  His cleansing is applied when we confess our sins! (1 John 1:9).

  So, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  The Lord has provided the means for us to see ourselves and be cleansed.  We must take advantage of what He has provided.  He is not like some overzealous grandmother with a wetted handkerchief who is always daubing at the grimy faces of unwilling grandchildren.  He has provided the cleansing power of the blood of His Son.  He pleads with us to “cleanse ourselves.”

— Steve Klein