“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB).
Over the next month and a half, much of my Scripture reading and prayer will address issues of transformation, renewal, and spiritual growth. Lent provides a time for such self-reflection: a time when I can look at my life and see where I fall short in my relationship with Jesus Christ, and renew my commitment to serving Him. I realize that Christians can (and should) do this throughout the year, whenever the Holy Spirit convicts them of that need. Yet, it is encouraging to know that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ regularly join in this journey at this time of year. I am not alone.
The verse above provides encouragement for those who proceed through Lent. Many are tempted to view any time of repentance or self-examination as an opportunity to condemn themselves and think about how evil they are. Many view such personal moral/spiritual inventories as opportunities to beat themselves up. This is wrong.
I am aware that I fall short of the glory of God and continually need His grace and forgiveness (Romans 3:23). However, 2 Corinthians 3:18 offers a new perspective that all of us can bring to Lent, the Word of God, and everything our Lord has given to lead us to spiritual maturity. It reminds us to seek God’s glory glowing more brightly in our lives, not merely a renewed battle against our sins.
When I look in a mirror, what do I see? In most mirrors, I see my own face. When I look in the spiritual mirror (the Bible), I often see my weaknesses and flaws. According to this passage, though, I should see something more. Not only should I see where I fail, but I should also see God’s glory in me: a glory that all of His children share.
Between Ash Wednesday and Easter, millions of Christians will unite in extra prayer, fasting, and self-examination. Let us not spend so much time counting our sins that we miss the greatest blessing of Lent: the realization that the glory of God already resides in us through His Holy Spirit; the fact that we are being transformed from glory to glory. Let us not view Lent as a time to cut down on a few sins or break a few bad habits. Let it be a time when we see more of God’s glory breaking forth in and through us.
This post copyright © 2016 Michael E. Lynch. All rights reserved.