James and Paul see our use of God’s Word to be an active engagement, not just a reference. Our review of our lives in Lent doesn’t have to be complicated but it needs to be of value to our lives in how we serve God and others. If the Lent time of repentance is meaningful, then the measurement has to be accurate, and the only way to ensure that is to have a “standard” to measure against.
If we were to decide upon a review of our physical bodies that we needed to lose weight, then that review will have to become active if it has a hope of being accomplished. We would possibly research a new dietary plan, add an exercise regimen and last but not least is to have an accurate scale to get our current state ( TRUTH ) and set our future goals. Then with the scale as our “standard” or TRUTH, we start an active lifestyle change to move toward our goal. Setting a frequency to continue to review our results, to our goal using the “standard” of measurement and goals.
The spiritual review of our lives requires an identical process because all improvement and positive changes require looking at our life with regard to a “standard,” THE WORD OF GOD. The most important part of any commitment is the TRUTH or “standard” we hold ourselves to while we work to improve. The reasoning is simple – we all have, and are entitled to, an opinion that can be different between us no matter how close we are or how long we have known each other.
What we are NOT entitled to is our own “standard” or TRUTH. TRUTH has some unique properties in that it can never be wrong, and it can never change, so it is not an evolving concept.
Lent Series: A Look in the Mirror
Lent allows us an opportunity to look beyond our surface challenges and into our hearts for our life’s real challenges and find a sin that we want to go away but so far have not been able to move. The most likely reason we have not worked on them recently is because we tried and failed on our own. That is why God sent Jesus to fulfill His plan of salvation – because we could not do it on our own?
The sins we need to work on are the ones that require God to help. They require FAITH – Hebrew 11:1 says that our Faith is the substance of things Hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. The sins we want to work on will come from the heart because these are deep-seated sins that our lives have become conditioned to that we know God would not approve of and we would like to change if we could.
God clearly told Jeremiah that “our hearts are the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
This should free us up so that we can look at any area of our life because God is here to help us fix it through our Faith in Him and our efforts. In his second letter to the Church in Corinth, Paul encourages us to “examine ourselves to see if our faith is genuine” 2 COR 13:5.
In Lent, as we repent from our sins of the heart by examining our life with regard to the mirror of God’s Word, we need to understand the value of the “standard”. We will look at the “standard” and its value in our next Lent Post.
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