Friday, August 11

Straight Aim

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. --Proverbs 4:25-26 (NIV)

I had carefully measured on the wall into which I needed to drill. The spacing between each mark where the screws were to be placed was precise. I climbed up the ladder, lined up the drill bit with the mark, and pressed the trigger. In a matter of seconds there appeared a neat hole, three-eighths of an inch in diameter, disappointingly angled upward instead of straight back.

What happened? My measurements were fine, but my technique was not. Instead of setting the ladder in a spot where I could position myself directly in front of the marks I had made, I was standing too far to one side. As a result, the hole I drilled was imperfect.

My failure to drill a hole straight into the wall is not much different from my inability to live a perfect life. No matter how hard I try or how carefully I try to avoid sinful behavior, I cannot. The word sin means "to miss the mark." Because I am a sinner, I will always miss the mark when it comes to living a life that is completely obedient to God's commandments.

As long as I attempt to do things on my own, I will be walking on uneven ground. This will only serve to complicate things if I will to align myself with God's rules for a perfect life. To be obedient, I must train my eyes to look straight ahead. This means doing exactly what the apostle Paul said--fixing my eyes on Jesus. When I am focused on Christ and following him, he leads me in paths of righteousness. When I walk where he leads and take the path that he has pointed out to me, I know my footing is firm.

Even though I am a sinner and have missed the mark of perfection, I still have value. Unlike the angled hole in my wall, which cannot be used as originally intended, I am able to be restored to perfection and holiness through Christ's work in me. Daily I must take straight aim as I focus on him and actively abide in him.



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