We sometimes forget that people see us for what we are really like. Paul put it best when he said that we are, "known and read of all men." (II Cor. 3:2) If we would keep this in mind, we would be much more careful about our daily actions and reactions. John gives us a wealth of information in his epistle of I John: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the father, but of the world." (I John 2:15,16)

One winter evening there was a man on his way to a very important meeting. As he was getting out of his car to attend the meeting, a truck drove past and splattered muddy water all over his suit. In the dim light he didn't really think it was all that bad, so he brushed himself off the best he could and proceeded to the meeting hall. As he approached the corner light, he took note that his clothes were soiled more than he thought. But it wasn't until he had entered the well lighted meeting room that he could see what a mess he really was.

There is a real parallel to this and the Christian life. James said it well, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27) Sometimes we can draw so close to the things that are in the world that we fail to see how sin-stained we really become. We must be aware of our lives for people really do see us as we really are.

We must always remember to walk in the light as Jesus did. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) As we walk in the presence of His luminous light, our perception becomes acute and we see that our garments too must be changed. It is then that we understand that we put on Christ and not ourselves. Yes, we must keep ourselves "unspotted" from this world. (James 1:27)

By James Young

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