In the C.S. Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters, we are flies on the wall as one demon instructs another as to how he can stop a young man from becoming a Christian. Once the novice demon fails, his next task is to trip up the new Christian in any way possible, no matter how ridiculous. One approach is to get him to focus on everyone else in the church meeting except himself. The adversary wants the Christian to focus on the sincerity of others simply based on their facial expressions, posture and manner of dress. Anyone not living up to some religious external standard is deemed a hypocrite. Thus, the new Christian is sidetracked and defiled by the silliest of attacks.
I learned a similar lesson a few years ago while attending a church in New York where the pastor preaching was projected on a screen so people in the back could see better. It just so happened that the camera captured the first row where I was sitting.
The lights were quite bright, and I became distracted by looking at how they reflected off the growing bald spot of the guy sitting beside me. Normally, the top of this guys head was not visible, but the camera, bright light and large screen changed that.
I also began to notice how this guy moved in his seat or nodded his head every time I did. He also seemed to be looking at the screen when I did. It was then that the awful revelation hit me; I had somehow miscounted who sat where and had been looking at my own head the whole time! Selah.
Scripture tells us to look into the mirror of God’s word on a daily basis so we can judge our spiritual progress by comparing ourselves to ourselves and not to others. Ultimately, we are really comparing ourselves to Jesus, and this should be enough to keep us humble.
My bald spot is not particularly large. It is just a spot, but when I am in a bright light the view from above reveals every detail. Since God discipled me with the video projector, I have tried to be less observant of the outward shapes of others and to even be merciful when their inner man was not shining in the best of ways.
You are planting a what?