We recognize that the queen has too much investment in her appearance. Beauty is an unstable quality that will decline with age, and will vary with the “eye of the beholder.” Undue concern about our own looks makes us a prisoner to others’ attention and admiration, and feeds our own narcissism. Besides, good looks are hardly a credit to us and more a gift and consequence of our gene pool. If your aim is to be, ever and always, the handsomest man or most beautiful gal, your disappointment is inevitable and your aim misplaced. You will build shallowness into your own character!
But what about the Pharisee—surely his concern about righteousness runs deeper doesn’t it? A lawful man is different from a thief, who victimizes others, from a rogue who seduces and harms women, from an adulterer who breaks promises and destroys families, from a tax collator who profits from the suffering of his own people.
What are you invested in?
Why are you invested in it?
FAMILY TIME— Pass around a mirror. What do you see? Who is the worst sinner you know?
WEEK 3 “MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL”
The Evil Queen, in the story of Snow White, asks her talking mirror the famous question, ”Mirror, Mirror on the wall—who is the fairest of them all?” Every day the reply comes back, “You are, My Queen!” Until Snow White emerges, and the mirror is forced to rank the queen a distant second.
Jesus’ parable begins with a Pharisee and a Tax Collector going to pray. It would seem an evil queen and a devout Jewish legal scholar could not be more different. But notice how the queen poses her question—she does not say, “Mirror, Mirror, am I lovely?” Instead, she asks if her loveliness surpasses all others. In the same way, the Pharisee is keen to make clear his superiority to others, and to see it as a mark of his righteousness.
Do you define yourself in relation to others?
Do you flatter or humble yourself by the comparison?
FAMILY TIME— Is it wrong to be too concerned about your own appearance? Is it helpful to compare our behavior with others?