“Our thoughts, pictures, and ways are corrupted because we and the world have been tainted with sin.”
I sat with my son today and worked on some multiplication times-table practice. I had found a neat coloring sheet that had to have multiplication problems solved to shade in parts of a picture. The answers dictated what colors you would use to fill in the many different shapes. When you are finished, you will see an image that was hidden.
I saw a copy of the finished picture online on the site where I downloaded it from, and thought that this would be a fun creative way to practice math facts. Little did I know that this would turn into an insightful little lesson. God teaches through a myriad of ways and channels.
I sat my son down at the table and we did a few together. I demonstrated how careful you had to be to keep the colors in the lines so that the picture would come out correctly. I walked off confident I had impressed upon my son the need to listen to what I had said, and busied myself with tasks I had to do around the house.
I walked back in to see his progress and he informed me that he was about done. I looked down, and saw that he had failed to listen to my instructions of coloring very carefully. Also, he had gotten a few wrong, and therefore had gotten the colors messed up. It did frustrate me, and I pointed out that this had messed up the image, my temper starting to rise. It distracted your eye away from seeing the true image. Make no mistake, you could still see it and make it out, but it was not like the completed perfect image I saw on the computer.
Yes, I know he’s a child and children make mistakes when coloring, and I do not expect perfection. I know he has little patience at times and he will improve with time. Just like I know that God gives us grace when we let Him down because we too fail to follow “directions.” We also grow impatient and try to help God out or decide that we should abandon a path because it clearly is not the one God intended, even though we know that we haven’t given it a chance. This is a lesson that I know I am still learning, especially when I get mad at my children. Our heavenly father is slow to anger and quick to forgive, just like we should strive to be.
With all this swirling around in my head, my mind went immediately to Jesus and how we get His image and teachings so wrong even after we are told to follow the “directions” in life. I stopped and thought of the church and how, down through the ages and into current times, the story gets bent and tainted. About how God must call men and women of faith to straighten things out. I thought about biblical matters and how we can get it wrong, and in doing so skew the picture of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 (AMP):
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Unfortunately for us, we try and apply our logic and thinking of what is “right/wrong,” or what we think God should do and how He should behave with our sensibilities. We then start coloring our picture of God and Christ. Our thoughts, pictures, and ways are corrupted because we and the world have been tainted with sin. Therefore, we cannot see clearly. As Christians in this day and age, with so much information, both good and bad, we have to do our due diligence as we seek for knowledge and wisdom and as we study God and Christ, seeking what He wants of us.
The more that we study and insert our biases and judgements, the more that picture will be corrupted and instead of having a beautiful masterpiece we will end up with something akin to a child’s scribblings. If we do not try to prayerfully sort out this picture then I fear, as my son’s picture has shown me, we will have a Jesus of our own creation that will have the appearance of being close to correct, but be off. The true Christ will be lost, and when we get to Heaven and plead our case that we did thus and so in His name He, that laid down His life for we sinners and cares so much for each of us, will look us in the eye and say, “Depart, I never knew you.”
I pray we are all seeking what is good and true, and what is pure and edifying to the body of Christ. I pray that today we can cast off the idols of this world. We really need to consider how we are living our lives and if what we are doing, everything we are doing, is in line with how God intends and wants us to live in this fallen world.
Grace, Peace, & Hope to you as you continue to study God’s Word,