Have you ever noticed how much sinners look like the man in the mirror? I’ve been struck by the similarities of sinners to Christians. I shouldn’t be. Christians are sinners too. The difference lies in the “no condemnation” statement of Romans 8:1, 2:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Note that the freedom from condemnation comes only for those “in Christ Jesus.” Those outside of Christ have no such promise. There is also the very important contrast of those set free by the law of the Spirit of life against those judged by the law of sin and death. That verse is what makes the man in the mirror different from a sinner not in Christ.
That does not mean there are not important similarities. The differences fade quickly when we think of where we were before Jesus came into our lives.
Many who read here grew up with loving, godly parents who ensured they were raised “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, KJV). We were taught the Bible stories and were thrilled when Daniel walked out of the lion’s den or when Jonah was swallowed by a whale. We had our little white Bible and knew all of the Sunday School songs by heart.
But what if we didn’t? What if we did not have godly parents? What if we never attended worship or Bible study as a child? Where would we be?
That is where we find the world today. Many do not have the background we enjoyed and so their lives descended further and further into worldliness and chaos. Without an anchor they drifted from one seemingly satisfying moment to the next. They were never taught.
I might be wise to remember that when you next look into the mirror. The saved face staring back at you might not have been so clean were it not for your blessed past. Where would you be?
My point is that we can see people who are lost but we cannot see why they are lost. Our approach to them must be that of a kindly, patient teacher. Remember the old saw, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” We’ll reach more with understanding. Teaching truth, never compromising, but understanding the path that brought them to us.