Are You Trying To Look Better?

Handsome man looking at himself in the mirror in the bathroom

By F. G.

After a long day of traveling and a very poor night’s sleep preceding another taxing day at a large hospital while his son had major surgery, Jack was exhausted. It will not surprise the reader, then, that Jack went straight to bed upon arriving in his room at the hotel where he was staying. However, only two hours later he was awakened by screaming fire alarms. Jack stirred, wondering, “Where am I? Maybe this is only a dream.” But no; just then, a commanding voice announced over the loudspeaker, “Everyone should leave the building immediately. Please be calm and everyone will be okay. Exit the building immediately. Thank you.”

At this declaration Jack jumped out of bed; he wasn’t dreaming! Dressed in his nightclothes, he was determined not to appear outside just as he was. “I can come to the Lord Jesus ‘just as I am,’ as a favorite song of mine says,” Jack thought, “but it would be embarrassing to be seen by people without tidying myself, at least a little.” Hastily putting on his shirt and pants, and running a comb through his hair, Jack had the nagging thought that he should be going, especially since he was on the fifth floor and the smoke smell was getting worse. Grabbing his shoes in the darkness, Jack was finally ready.

When he arrived downstairs, one of the last, Jack found everyone assembled in a living room-like lobby. He was smiling to himself as he looked around and thought, “Boy, I’m sure glad I don’t look like these people – crazy hair, funny-looking pajamas – I’m sure they wouldn’t look this way in public if they had a choice. As they stared back at Jack, however, a disturbing realization swept over him: “I never actually looked in the mirror. What if they are thinking the same thing about me?”

It didn’t take long before Jack was relieved to understand that the smoke was, in fact, a result of food left too long in the microwave.

Back in his room, Jack prepared for bed a second time. But first, looking in the mirror, he noticed that the front of his button down shirt looked a little lopsided; he had missed the top button. Then he saw that the shoes on his feet were from two different pairs. Now he was sure that others must have thought his appearance humorous, too!

As Jack dozed off to sleep he thought of the many other people like him. The Bible says “All [people] have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23 kjv), and God must one day judge sinners. Yet, just like Jack thought he could tidy himself to look better before everyone at the hotel, many people think that they can do good things to look better before God and other people. In the end, Jack discovered that he wasn’t any better than the other guests after all.

Everyone who thinks they can “tidy” themselves by doing good things will soon find that they are wrong. You see, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6). It is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He [God] saved us” (Ti. 3:5). Jesus, God’s Son came to earth and took the judgment for each sinner who will believe in Him. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish [in the lake of fire], but have everlasting life [in heaven]” (Jn. 3:16).

If the smoke that Jack smelled had been the result of an actual fire, he could have lost his life by waiting too long to escape from the building. More importantly, every sinner who waits too long to accept Jesus as his or her Savior will be lost forever in the lake of fire. Have you trusted in Jesus, thereby escaping the fire and judgment from God? Is Jesus your Savior? Are you on your way to heaven? Or, are you delaying, like Jack did, while you try to make yourself look better? Don’t wait any longer – trust Him now! We can tell you more.