The Evidence of My Life
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:3
In my addiction, I came to tolerate terrible behavior. I used, I lied, and I stole to get my pills. All of that just became normal though as I slipped deeper into my addiction. Once my actions were dragged into the light however, I recognized how bad things had gotten. Seeing my life through the mirror of other’s eyes was enlightening – and horribly painful. Those behaviors weren’t normal. They were pathologic. Others looked at me and saw the truth – I was horribly addicted. I may have thought of myself as one thing, but the evidence said I was an addict.
Now, in recovery, I think others see something very different – my recovery. The way I live is the evidence of who I am. I don’t live perfectly, but still, my life displays the traits of someone who is attempting to live by faith in recovery. If I was on trial for my conduct, the evidence would point to the reality that I’m sober and daily working on recovery. It helps at times, to step outside my own mind, attempting to see myself as others do. What self-destructive behaviors am I tolerating now? What does the mirror of reality show me?
Today’s passage is this reality mirror that we must gaze into, perhaps revealing a terrible lie that many of us tolerate. In it, John said that those who truly know Christ, keep his commandments. There are those, he said, who claim to know Jesus but don’t follow his commandments. Those people are living a lie, deceiving even themselves. So, this is the question for each of us – Are we being obedient to the commands of Christ? Do we love God, following him above all? Or do we follow our own will? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves, feeding the poor, visiting the sick and needy? Or do we spend all our time and money on our own entertainment? Do we daily pursue a relationship with the father? Or do we pursue only our own appetite?
We may claim to be Christians, but here’s the real question – What does the evidence say? If we were on trial, accused of being Christians, would there be enough evidence to convict? Do others see us as people who follow Christ’s commands? Or do they see us as those who simply live for ourselves? We may comfort ourselves with a lie, but if we truly desire honesty, we must look into the mirror of reality and see what the evidence of our behavior says.