“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15.

This week’s movie is Beauty and the Beast. When the beast looked into a mirror he saw a beast and nothing else. It begs the question, how do you see yourself… really? What do you see when you look into a mirror? Do you see all the flaws, the blemishes, gray hair, and do you wonder where all those lines came from? What do you see when you look into your past? Do you see scars from abuse? Do you see brokenness and loss? Do you see choices you now regret and wish you could take back? And what do you see when you look into the future? Like the beast, do you lose hope because it seems you will be stuck doing the same old, same old?

Fortunately for us, God sees us through the lens of the cross. If you are a photographer you deal with the depth of field in every photo you take. If the subject you are focusing on fills the entire frame, naturally that is all you will see. You can’t see anything else no matter what the depth of field is. That’s how God sees us. He focuses on Jesus and you’re right behind Him but the Father only sees His Son. 

1 John 4:17 says, “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”  The “by this,” refers back to the verse above where he says “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16) Isn’t that a wonderful thought? God and us abide in each other. If you stop and meditate on that for awhile, it really boggles the mind.  

But are we becoming more like Jesus? Now all of us struggle with the beast in us, from time to time. We try to hide, the inner darkness that keeps us from God or being what God wants us to be. Sometimes these are character traits or memories that we play for ourselves or sometime there are addictions or patterns that we simply can’t find the strength to break. And sometimes they’re just garden variety sins or maybe more serious sins.

What is my default? It’s not that we’re not going to sin. We are going to sin. But if we have a heart given to Christ, we’re not going to remain in sin. We’re not going to stay in beast mode. We’re not going to be comfortable there. Our default is going to be repentance. Our default is going to be obedience. Our default is going to be humility. Our default is going to be the things that make us more like Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think God sees you?
  2. What can we do this week to become less beast like and more like Christ?