A couple of weeks ago I was printing quite a few pictures when my printer started having some issues printing magenta. But, it took me a while to figure out the problem.
You see, the magenta didn’t just stop printing. Instead, it just gradually printed less fully. Little by little, the red undertones to the pictures decreased. The latter pictures still looked fine. But at some point in the process I just happened to lay an older picture and a newer one side by side and noticed that there was a distinct difference. Unless the early pictures were held side by side with the later ones, I really couldn’t even tell there was a problem. But, once the pictures were together, the difference was obvious.
I stopped printing and tried to clean the print head, but in the end I came to the conclusion that the print head needed to be replaced. Fortunately, the printer was still under warranty and Canon sent me a new print head. I’m now back in business, printing the rest of my pages of pictures.
The odd thing, though, is that now the right coloring seems off, especially when I compare it to the last pictures I had printed before. Right seems wrong because I had grown so accustomed to wrong.
You can probably tell where this is going!
In our lives there is a template for what is right. We find it in God’s Word. In fact, it is the Word. We find our comparison in the life of Jesus Christ Himself. But, time, tradition, and culture have slowly changed our perception of what is right. Maybe not by leaps and bounds – just little things here and there. For the most part, we look like we should. The picture is still right. It is still acceptable. In fact, we might look pretty good to all who view us.
Until a comparison is made with the original.
When we are held up to Christ Himself, we begin to see the differences. The colors here. The sharpness there. The detail. The clarity. Suddenly we realize just how off we really are. Other people might still look at us and believe that we are good. They might even try to reassure us that we’re fine the way we are. Who expects perfection? In fact, we can’t accomplish perfection, so why stress about it?
But God has commanded that we be holy as He is holy. That is our goal. That is what we are expected to reach for. And, if we are settling for anything less than imitation of Christ, we are falling short of what is expected of us.
In truth, we won’t achieve that perfection until we are transformed for eternity. But, that does not mean we should give up here and now. That doesn’t mean we should settle for something less than perfect. My pictures were acceptable, but my goal wasn’t “acceptable.” My goal was “right.” So, I replaced the print head.
May we compare ourselves daily, faithfully to Christ. May we not settle for blurred lines and dulled colors. May we instead constantly strive to perfect ourselves, looking forward with excitement to that day when we’ll be “right.”