Monday 4.18.11 Lenten Reflection by Scott Nehrbass

Scott Nehrbass, a member of The Church of the Resurrection since 1997, has led or co-led Disciple bible study groups for over 10 years, leads the 9 am KiDS COR band, and sings in the group “Called Out.”

RESOLVED: In examining myself, I will focus on God’s holiness, which builds humility; in examining others, I will focus on God’s grace, which builds mercy.

My Disciple group’s recent studies have focused on the real, authentic Jesus. You know the Jesus I’m talking about–the angry young man we see in the gospels, not some watered-down, namby-pamby version you may have gotten in Sunday School. He’s the Jesus who cries out, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41)

What is so simultaneously magnetic and revolting about this real Jesus is how deeply He disdains perceptions and demands reality. Jesus couldn’t care less what people think of me; He cares about who I really am. He cuts me to the quick and sees straight into my heart. He wants real change, from the inside out.

Ironically, this same Jesus who calls me to be brutally honest with myself desires a completely different approach in my thinking about others. I’m not Jesus, and I can’t see into another’s heart. I’ve not walked a mile in his moccasins, and I don’t know what she’s been through. Certainly, I’m not without sin, so who am I to cast stones?

Every day I find myself doling out mercy after mercy upon myself and heaping judgment upon judgment on others. Why do I do that? What is this self-centered disease with which I seem so hopelessly afflicted? Thanks be to the real Jesus! Every day He saves me from the wretched, sinful man that I am . . . and He’s saving others, too.   

If you’re full of yourself this day, perhaps you need to take a moment to center on the real Jesus and pursue true holiness? Doing so will build humility. If you’re judging others, perhaps you need to take a moment to center on the real Jesus and remember God’s grace? Doing so will build mercy. It’s the real Jesus’ “winning formula” for a life not of this world.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.