“LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken (Psalm 15:1-5).”
Singer Kanye West stepped on to the stage at the MTV awards, grabbed the microphone from fellow singer Taylor Swift and proceeded to make a fool of himself. Young Taylor had just won the award for best female video. But Kanye intruded on the presentation and stood up to purportedly criticize the choice and be an advocate for pop star Beyonce.
The crowd booed Kanye throughout the evening. They could see the only person West was really advocating was himself. Kanye later admitted his error to TV host Jay Leno and said he was going to take some time off for “reflection”.
A rearview mirror which looks backward and reflects an oncoming vehicle is useful in traffic. But in life it is better for our minds to do the reflecting forward, to think beforehand.
Jesus was surrounded by impulsive, unthinking people who created chaos for Him and themselves (John 18:1-40). His disciple Peter spontaneously promised to never fail Him. Yet, Peter ended up denying Jesus at the latter’s arrest . Peter was even told by Jesus in advance that he would deny Him, but he ended up doing it anyway.
Judas also betrayed Jesus. His motivation was an immediate payoff and perhaps disappointment in Jesus for not leading him to even greater success. Judas led those seeking to arrest Jesus to Him. Judas had access to Jesus and so stood right next to Him so the mob knew who to apprehend.
Both Peter and Judas reflected afterwards and regretted their mistakes. Peter’s heart ached at the time, but his story had a happy ending as he eventually founded God’s church. However, the betrayal of Judas and his after-the-fact sorrowt led to his immediate suicide.
Judas and Peter were not the only ones who could have used some prior reflection. The Roman governor Pilate, when in the presence of the Truth, asked Jesus “What is truth?”. He was not ready for it when it stared him in the face.
And when Pilate gave the masses the opportunity to release Jesus to them, they cried out for a no-account criminal over the Precious One. They had obviously never thought about the question, “If somene gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?”
It behooves us to consider what God requires for us in order to have a relationship with Him. Doing so will save us a lot of heartache in this life and in the one to come.