I have some bad driving habits. According to my husband, my worst is my habit of hitting every possible pothole in the road. The funny thing is this lousy habit developed after I intentionally began trying to avoid these road hazards. Evidently, the more I stare at a pothole to avoid it, the more I head straight for it.
Why does this keep happening to me? It’s simple. I am hitting what I’m aiming for. I don’t mean to be aiming at those potholes, but when I fix my gaze on them, I can’t help but hit them like they are bullseyes. This is not only a natural phenomenon but a spiritual one as well. According to the Bible, we become what we behold.
The word behold is used in the Bible over 1500 times. It’s like God is telling us to pay attention to what we are paying attention to. We can look without seeing, but we can’t behold (fix our gaze on) something without it having a powerful impact on our lives.
Here’s a couple of scriptures for you. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” “But we all, with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image…” (2 Corinthians 3:18). To put this in plain language, the more we look at Jesus, the more we look like Jesus. Simple, huh?
Unfortunately, we humans are horribly and habitually self-absorbed. Don’t believe you are? Who do you look at first in a group photo? Bet you dollars for donuts it’s your face you look for first. You want to see if you look old or fat and then compare yourself to the others in the photo. That is the broken part of our humanity. We are constantly critiquing and criticizing ourselves and others. And this plays havoc with our Christian growth.
I used to think I was growing spiritually when I felt guilty and monitored my Christian performance. I thought I was the 4th member of the Trinity for myself, and I picked me apart with my “thou shalt not’s” and “thou should-haves.” As spiritual as I was trying to be, the only thing I was beholding was me. And the more I looked at myself, the more I became like me.
The world doesn’t need more of me. It doesn’t even need more of you. The world needs Jesus. Believers, we are responsible for showing the world Jesus. But we can’t do that if we aren’t beholding the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We can’t become like Him if we aren’t beholding Him.
As much as you may enjoy 7-point sermons about how you can be a less sinful you, if you aren’t beholding Jesus as your life’s focus, those sermons may not be helping. If your sin doesn’t remind you of the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, you might be staring at the wrong thing. That could explain why you keep hitting the same potholes.
Please do yourself and the world a favor. Get you off your mind and fix your gaze on Jesus! I promise the more you look at Him, the more you will look like Him, and He’s never hit a pothole.