The Man in the Mirror

During World War One, the London Times ran a popular series of editorials in which they invited well known people to opine on the question, “What’s wrong with the world”? The great writer and theologian, G.K. Chesterton contributed what is perhaps the shortest editorial in history:chesterton-i-am-postcard

Dear Sirs,

I am.

G.K. Chesterton.

As we face another election cycle, it’s a great temptation to classify other people as the problem or even “the enemy”. They are not. The point I was going for was not a theological statement of identity, (I know full-well that I am one who is deeply loved by the Father), but rather of the human tendency to judge and condemn others while giving ourselves a pass.

Jesus touched on this idea in the Sermon on the Mount: “How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:4-5) Other people are not my problem, and the friend who disagrees with me is never my enemy.  My greatest challenge is not the person I see through my window, but the one I see in my mirror. Only when we face this truth can we begin to embrace the life of personal responsibility which characterizes the Kingdom.

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