Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 12:1-10

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. James 1:23-24

The Bible is a mirror in which we can see ourselves as we are by nature. In Psalm 14 God presents us with a "bust" of the sinner, but in Romans 3 we have a full-length portrait. Yet men will either refuse to look in this mirror or else promptly ignore what they see and forget what God says about them. We can see the faults of others, little realizing that they are our own faults.

The story is told of an elderly man, very nearsighted, who took great pride in posing as a critic of art. One day he visited the art museum with some friends and immediately began to give his criticisms of the various paintings. Stopping before a full-length portrait, he began to take it apart. He had left his glasses at home and could not see the picture clearly. With an air of superiority he began: "The frame," said he, "is altogether out of keeping with the picture. The subject (a man) is too homely and shabbily dressed. In fact he is ugly, and it was a great mistake for the artist to select such a shoddy subject for his portrait." The old fellow was going on in this way, when his wife managed to get to him and pulling him aside, whispered in his ear, "My dear, you are looking in a mirror." He had been criticizing himself. What a lesson for us all. Our own faults, which we do not recognize, seem so big when we see them in others; but we are blind to them when they are our own. David was quick to condemn himself (unknowingly) when he condemned the man who stole one little lamb. It is not what we think of ourselves, but what God says about us that counts. (M.R.D.)

It takes much grace to judge yourself,

For vanity is strong;

But God will bless the soul who cries,

"O Lord, forgive; I'M WRONG!"

— G. Woods

"Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our back."

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