December 9, 2013
Several common phrases really get under my skin and irritate me, such as when someone inserts “to tell you the truth,” or “to be totally honest,” or “can I be totally frank with you?” When I hear those words, my initial reaction is to ask, “Does this mean that up to this point, you haven’t been telling me the truth?”
Another example is beginning a sentence with “You have no idea ….” I always find that statement so presumptuous and condescending. Well, at the risk of irritating you, I am actually going to use that phrase in the following statement, actually an acusation. “You have no idea who you really are!” There … I’ve said it! Now hear me out.
Paul tells the Corinthians they have veils over their faces. What takes the spiritual and psychological veil away is faith in Christ as our Savior and accepting His death as payment for our sin. We are so accustomed to looking at ourselves through a veil, that we find it hard to see Christ’s glory in us. So, we adopt other veils to get us back into our “comfort zone”.
We have many veils, but a common one we try on is this whole Christian thing. Trying not to sin. Cleaning ourselves up on the outside. Doing good deeds. Going to church. Being nice. Putting that dollar in the collection basket. When we look in the mirror, we cannot see who we really are because of the veils that hang over our faces … veils created by us, or handed to us by Satan to deceive us about who we really are in Christ and how God really wants to relate with us.
For some of us, the veils are a bit uglier. Veils of phoniness, image management, overeating, jacking up with caffeine, or even alcohol and drug use, pornography, anxiety, fear and anger. We use all these veils to avoid seeing out heart as it really is. Seeing the pain, wounds, desires, and yearnings how God wants us to see them.
We truly have no idea who we really are as long as the veils remain. Jesus clearly teaches that it’s about believing and receiving … it’s about healing your heart, setting it free, restoring you to the glory God intends for you. It’s about lifting that veil. I fear a religious fog has tried to veil us, placing us under some sort of spell or amnesia, to keep us from truly coming alive … to keep us from really knowing who we are and who God intends us to be. In today’s scripture reading, Paul says it is time to take that veil away.
Today, take the veil off … bringing freedom, transformation and glory to your life … “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.” Do some honest self-assessment. Ask yourself what interferes as you try reflecting Christ to yourself and to others. Why do you let it interfere? Identify one step you can take today to stop wearing your veil. Pick out one person you trust and tell him or her a bit more about your secret fears, needs, or past wounds. Whether you hide behind the veil or you let the light in … allowing God to soothe, heal, and transform you is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I want to know who I am. I want to lift the veil that distorts and blocks my vision. When I look into the mirror I want to see the reflection of Your glory. I want to see my sinfulness more clearly. I want to like … no, I want to love what I see and who I am. You are the Spirit, and where You are I know I will find liberty and freedom. I pray in the name of the One who died so I might lift the veil that hangs over my face, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say- AMEN!
Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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 by the Spirit of the Lord. Corinthians 3:16-18