Grandmother was adorable. I loved everything about her, the way she loved her family fiercely and her dog almost as much, the way she mixed up words and told jokes she didn’t understand, the way she tried to laugh with her mouth closed because she was self-conscious about her smile, all of it. From her pursed, red lips to the crumbs that collected on her blouse (or “top”), the woman just made my heart happy.
Fastidious in her appearance, Grandmother carried a make-up bag in her purse, had her hair done every Friday, and insisted on shopping at Dillard’s because she knew they carried nice things. As a matter of fact, when she passed away, her Dillard’s card was the only one with a significant balance.
Ironically, Grandmother was almost never completely clean. Every time she ate a meal, crumbs fell and collected on her blouse amongst rhinestones and embroidered flowers and stayed there for the remainder of the day untouched. Though she took great pains to “put her lips on” right after evermeal, Grandmother never looked down to inspect her, um…front.
Attention to detail is important, especially if you’re going to be spending any time around other people. Ever heard someone say something like this?
“For a Christian, he/she sure is.. (insert negative adjective here).”
Or ask a question like this?
“How could someone who claims to be a Christian…(insert negative verb here)?”
I usually just say, “I don’t know” to comments like these when I really can’t argue, but I think I do know. I think we Christians behave badly sometimes because we, like my Grandmother, are relying on a pocket mirror to accomplish a full-length mirror task.
See, when you grow up around church and spiritual conversation, you tend to choose favorite parts of the Bible and turn to them every time you need to send a card to, pray for, or counsel someone. If you aren’t careful, you come to depend on your favorites for everything, flipping to the well-highlighted pages in your Bible every time you feel the need to refresh spiritually.
This is a problem. The goal for us is Christ-likeness, after all, not self-improvement, and pet-verse primping just doesn’t get it.
Ephesians 5:17 says, “Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.”
You may feel knowledgeable enough, challenged enough, and comforted enough by the Scripture you already know, but if you don’t look into the full length mirror of God’s Word (James 1:23) and study it for all it’s worth, you might be walking around all crumby and not know it.