Be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace.

2 Peter 3: 14b

 

Face creams, medicated cleansing wipes, and spa treatments are great in the short term. Those nasty skin eruptions and the annoying wrinkles can be removed and softened so that a youthful glow is restored—for a moment. Then, the reminders of age and late nights and worry return. We spend money and time on a remedy that doesn’t ever really work. Eventually, we tend to just surrender to the processes of life and blame all of the ill effects on a thinning ozone layer or on too much time in the sun and the wind.

 

When the source of the unsightly condition of our outer selves is found in our hearts, the fix gets even more problematic and can seem to be totally elusive. You think that the anger is under control; then, you turn a loved one into over-done toast in a moment; or you have your thoughts under control; then, the fantasy overcomes all reason. Each of us can write our own stories about the ways that the peace of our lives is disrupted by issues that we hoped were behind us. When these events happen in my life, I feel no peace within. It is as if there is an ugly lump on my nose that the entire world is looking at.

 

Christ wants us to live in peace. He knows us, and I am fully aware of the fact that He knows all about my numerous spots and blemishes. I am also completely aware of the fact that God forgives me for all of them and that He wants to take me deeper into my relationship with Him in order to permanently eliminate them. This may seem rather contradictory to logic and reason, but Christ wants me to take each and every one of my ugly thoughts and actions to Him. His desire is that I tell Him about them and recognize the pain that they cause to others, to myself, and to God. This is the heart of the action that is called confession. Then as I allow the Spirit of Christ to guide me into healthier ways of thinking and acting, the magic of God’s grace truly removes the blemishes and smoothes the wrinkles of sin.