Recently a lady came through my lane at work and she had a smudge on her face. In Pennsylvania Dutch terms, we call that “schmutz.” Schmutz is a term I use for things like mayonnaise and ketchup, but it can also be used to describe a grease smudge. When you have a small cut, I might say to you, “Put some schmutz on it,” referring to ointment. Nonetheless, this lady had schmutz of some sort on her face and I tried to politely let her know.
When I told the lady about her schmutz, she was so grateful. She couldn’t see the smudge on her face because she didn’t have a mirror. She had been walking around with it on her face all morning and no one said a thing.
Today’s verse talks about a face smudge that we can so easily see on our neighbors. We all have schmutz on our face but we don’t have the mirrors in hand. Many times we find faults in others and those faults are also our own. It is difficult to see yourself, to see all the bits and pieces, but God can help you see every smudge if you pay attention to His voice and you continue to be in prayer. Whether you know it or not, God knows you better than you know you. I’m praying that today you will able to show grace and mercy to the schmutz of others as you intentionally wash your own face with the help of the Spirit.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
-Matthew 7:1-5 [MSG]
You might be happy right now, but someone may not share in that happiness. You might be “skipping about and laughing with joy” and someone might be “filled with contempt.” You might be dancing, giggling, leaping with joy, but others may fling insults at you, shake their heads or speak judgmental words.
When you know Christ, you are filled with a joy that no one else can understand unless they too know Christ. There are moments in life that do not scream happy. You might not be able to make the bill payments. Your car might have left you sit. You may have just had surgery and daily life is difficult with your recovery. And yet you are living with this joy that people don’t understand. They do not get why you are happy, joyous, positive, upbeat, glowing, etc. They don’t get it because they do not know Who has filled you with the joy.
David danced, laughed, leaped—Michal didn’t get it. She did not have a strong relationship with the Lord like David did so it did not make sense to her. When Michal spoke in judgment against him, David responded, “I will celebrate before the LORD” (2 Samuel 6:21 NIV). You, too, should keep celebrating before the Lord, despite those who cannot grasp the reason. Don’t let someone’s inability to understand stop you from celebrating the Lord’s presence in your life.
“But as the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.” – 1 Chronicles 15:29 [NLT]
“But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him.” – 2 Samuel 6:16 [NLT]