The sign said, “do not throw stones.” Nothing ambiguous about it. But at different times throughout the day, as we walked along the beach, the common scene was that of people throwing rocks…at the sign.
What is it about the law that makes us want to do the opposite? What is it about rules that arouse disobedience? And what weakness within motivates rebellion? The law cannot change a man any more than the mirror that exposes a dirty face can make it clean.
When they were teens, my husband and his brother decided to play a joke on their friend. While he was sleeping, they decorated his face with marker then woke him when they arrived at the local burger joint. What do you think the guy did when he saw his face in the bathroom mirror? Screamed, yes. But did he then take the mirror off the wall to wash his face? No. The mirror pointed him to the only thing that could make him clean…water.
Lasting change can only come through our recognition of the powerlessness of the law to change us. The law, like the curb on a street, can keep us safe. And like a target, it shows us where to place our aim. But like a mirror, it shows us how far we fall short…and how much we need divine intervention if we’re ever to change. Only God’s supernatural power can enable us to change. Only His love can so radically transform us that our lives are never the same. And only then, out of gratitude, can we live the lives we were destined to live.
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do…” (Romans 8:2-3)