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2 Samuel 22: 26 – 27            NIV

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

In our discipleship we desire to reflect the grace of the Lord. When people look at us, we hope they see Jesus. I never considered that when we look at the Lord, we see ourselves. Today’s scriptures teach us a very important lesson. What you see when you look at God is likely a reflection of yourself. Stop and think about that for a moment. Do you see a loving God full of grace and mercy or do you see a vengeful God. Is he punishing the world or loving it. God hasn’t changed. He is love but what we see in Him shows what we have allowed ourselves to receive from God. He gives us power to be loving and forgiving because He is loving and forgiving. If, instead, we see Him as shrewd it is because of something in us, crookedness. If we see Him faithful it is because we have allowed ourselves to receive faithfulness from Him. He shows Himself blameless because we have received our spotless garment by faith in Jesus. We look at God through the veil which we choose, through our filters.

The key point is that the way we perceive God is a measure of who we are rather than a treatise on who He is. We know unequivocally who and what God is, God is love. Therefore, if we do not perceive Him as He truly is, then it is because of an overlay that we have cloaked Him with from our own personalities. He is faithful because love is faithful. Any characteristic which is derived from love is His natural clothing. Any characteristic which is distinct from love is the veil of our eyes. We may have inherited these veils, these painted lenses, from our parents, we may have learned them from religion or they may be of our own doing. Any unregenerate part of our being may be reflected onto our image of God. Our task as disciples of Christ is to see Him as He truly is. The question, then, is not “Who do you think God is?” The task is to strip the veils of convention, habit and our own worldly experience from our eyes and to see God as He truly is. We have a test which will show immediately our perception of truth. If our image of God is anything less than complete love then we know there is yet something within us that needs addressing.

Looking at God is like looking into a mirror which might explain why it is difficult to get people to seek Him or even to spend time in prayer and in the Word. Even if they cannot articulate their hesitancy in their heart of hearts they know they will see something ugly in the mirror and they are afraid. Their hearts are not strong enough to admit the truth about themselves. This is a great sorrow because God is the healer of the heart. There is nothing so ugly in any of us that He cannot turn it into beauty. It is what He does. There also is not one of us that was beautiful in ourselves. Any beauty any of us reflect is the Lord Jesus himself. What is it that gives one person the guts to seek healing and inner beauty and others fall to fear? I wish I knew. Perhaps it is a little hope of something better. Maybe it is just a little faith that God really is love and that he will accept us and help us. Whatever it is, I pray that seed in every one of us so that we may grow into the beautiful creature of grace that we are each meant to be. If we could only see ourselves the way God sees us. I adjure you by all that is holy. Seek the face of the Lord expecting to find love and acceptance. Do not worry about your soiled garments. You are not as dirty as Jesus was when the sin of the world hit him and yet he is seated right now at the right hand of God. You can’t get any dirtier than he was and yet his robes are now as white as snow. He is radiant in his cleanliness. God has provided that same beauty for ashes experience for each of us. Give God your rubbish and he will exchange it for His glory. “Let’s Make a Deal” never had a deal as good as that. If you will with all honesty give your entire heart to God He will show you His wholeness and grace. Then you will look in the mirror of His face and see only love.

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