For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Romans 7:19
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to go to a church where they had an interpreter for the deaf.
Honesty compels me to confess I spent more time watching the signer than I did listening to the sermon. It was fascinating and quite beautiful.
After the service, I asked the signer, "Can you give me a simple sign that explains what truth is?" With a smile, the interpreter moved his finger horizontally in a straight line.
I thought that seemed simple enough.
"How about a sign for untruth?" I asked. Without the smile, the interpreter made a zigzag motion with his finger. So there you have it: truth is a straight line; lies are crooked.
I wondered if the signer had to summarize our lives with a single gesture, what would it be -- straight or zigzag?
Like St. Paul, most of God's people are trying to lead a straight life. Unfortunately, and also like St. Paul, there are many more zigzags than we would like.
If that seems so to you, then a logical question is this: "How can we straighten things out?" Certainly that kind of reformation will not happen by our own reason or strength. If we could fix ourselves on our own, the world would be a better place, and we wouldn't have to lock our cars when we go to the store.
But the truth is we can't fix ourselves. Many have tried; none have succeeded. No, if our lives are going to be straightened out, if we are to be forgiven, it will only be by the intervention and through the substitution of the Savior. His life, a gift of salvation for us, can change who we are, what we do, what we say, and how we live.
This is why, today, I would like you to join me in praying, "Lord, make my life straight in Jesus." Amen.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, all too often my resolutions for reform are set aside by continuing sin. Grant me the strength to cast those sins aside and help me live a life of witness to the transformation that comes only through the salvation won by the crucified and ever-living Savior. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries