I read a devotional the other day that was thought-provoking. The writer, Dr. Ed Young, spoke of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and how he had been faithful to his wife their whole marriage. But Muggeridge always had in the back of his mind that he wanted to have an affair, just to see what it was like.
One day, when Muggeridge was in India by himself, he saw his chance. Taking his usual morning swim in the Ganges River, Muggeridge saw a woman bathing by herself some distance away. Thinking that no one would ever know, he swam upstream toward the woman. Young describes that Muggeridge was “struggling not just against the water, but against the current of his own conscience.” Swimming underwater, Muggeridge surfaced near the woman, and what he saw gave him the shock of a lifetime: The woman was a leper. Young says, “Her nose was eaten away. There were sores and white blotches all over her skin, and the ends of her fingers were gone. She looked more like an animal than a human.
“‘What a wretched woman this is,’ [Muggeridge] thought to himself, but at the same moment, he was overwhelmed with a devastating truth: ‘What a wretched man I am!'”
Dr. Young surmises that Muggeridge, though he didn’t say so in his autobiography, must have come face to face with something profound: “Physical leprosy is crippling and terminal, but spiritual leprosy is deadly and eternal. Muggeridge’s real-life, graphic experience illustrates an unalterable truth: When we walk away from the commands of God, we walk right into disease–the disease of sin.”
This also reminds me of the movie “The Picture Of Dorian Gray.” The man on the outside looked handsome and kind, but the picture he kept hidden away took on all the ugliness that was the sin inside him. Jesus had a term for this kind of person: whitewashed sepulcher. You look good on the outside, but what is inside you is rotten, and dead and stinking.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, our outside should match our inside.
“From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Thankful today for:
831. my son Nathan who turned 14 yesterday
832. party planning with friends
833. the power of the Holy Spirit who helps me overcome my fears
834. wisdom when I ask for it
835. living in Florida, where 60 degrees is cold
836. daddy-daughter dances
837. 30% off Kohl’s coupons
839. pitchers and catchers reporting 🙂
840. people who know more than I do