Lessons from Proofreading

The distinct possibility that we may not see our own errors is clearly illustrated by the proofreader. For instance, no matter how much time I spend carefully going over my sermons, class materials, PowerPoint presentations, emails, Facebook posts, and these short Bible reflections, someone almost always finds a typo that I didn’t see! I normally re-read things that I have written several times. Despite my efforts, I still can’t see my own errors!

Spiritual Application

Spiritually speaking, no matter how hard I try, I am fully convinced that I fall short of God’s perfection (Romans 3:23). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to justify my sins. I realize that I must hate evil and do everything in my power to avoid it as if it were a deadly plague (Psalms 97:10; James 1:14-15; Jude 23).

I need to do my part to correct the “typos” in my life that I can see (i.e., repent of my sins, confess them, and hold fast to the word, Acts 8:22; 1 Corinthians 15:2), but I’m sure that God could point out some others that I’ve overlooked. That’s why I always need His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and patience (Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6; 1 John 1:9; 2 Peter 3:9). Without them, I am lost. With them, I have hope (1 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 6:19)!

Two Kinds of Major “Typos” In Our Lives

The fact that we are not aware of any “sin of commission” in our lives (i.e., the intentional disobedience of one of God’s “thou shall not’s”) does not guarantee that we are completely free of sin. What about the good things that God has commanded us to do but we have failed to do them?

Who among us is one hundred percent certain that there is nothing in his life that he has omitted in his walk with Christ? Who can say without an iota of doubt that he obeys infallibly every second of the day Jesus’ command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37)? Though I try, I’m the first to admit that sometimes I don’t love God enough! I’m sure that the Celestial Proofreader could highlight more “typos” in my life, no matter how carefully I examine myself (2 Corinthians 13:5). Obviously, if we all have a hard time seeing mistakes in the things that we have written, it should not be hard for us to fathom how perceiving our character flaws and bad habits might pose an even greater challenge.

How God Corrects Us

Hebrews 4:12 sums up how God points out the needed corrections in our lives: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” It is by means of His word that God determines the propriety (or not) of my thoughts and intentions, as well as my actions. It is the “inspired mirror” that circles with red ink the necessary changes in my life’s essay (James 1:23-25). God’s word is “profitable” to me; it is the perfect standard for “reproof” and “correction” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Though His chastisement may hurt–again, it’s a two-edged sword–it’s for my spiritual well-being. I need to know where the “typos” are in my life in order to change my thoughts and actions accordingly!

–Jerry Falk