Recently, my role as a physician was reversed and I became the patient. I had been observing a mole on my the second toe of my right foot. It had been present for years and was small, sharply circumscribed, and of even pigmentation. All of these are comforting signs of a benign mole. Yet over the past few months, it had been slowly growing. When I viewed it with my own eyes, it still did not harbor any worrisome features. However, I showed it to my dermatologist colleague who examined it with a dermatoscope, a special hand-held device designed to magnify subtle clinical features. After photographing it and examining it with a high-resolution computer screen, a few sinister clinical features appeared. In fact, the lesion had several characteristics that overlapped with malignant melanoma. We both agreed that it needed to be biopsied.
I underwent the biopsy and the next day, I received it in my laboratory. As I reviewed the biopsy with my microscope, something I have done hundreds of thousands of times with other patients, I was struck by one thought. “That’s a lot worse than it appeared to my eye.” There were definitely worrisome microscopic features that were not evident by mere visual inspection. From my eyes, to the dermatoscope, to the microscope-only when I examined my mole with higher magnification was its true sinister potential revealed.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ”You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV)
For the years before I became a Christian, I thought the ten commandments were a good moral standard by which to live my life. Don’t steal, don’t murder…yup, got those covered, but what about anger? Certainly, I have been angry with others, but it never led to murder. Jesus raised this commandment to the level where it truly needed to be understood. Anger is often the precursor to murder and other heinous offenses. Obeying the commandments was more than works and actions, our very motivations and thought life needed to be under the same degree of scrutiny. Although I attempted to do this by my own efforts, I was powerless, and miserably failed. I needed something greater than myself. I needed a Savior.
I was convinced I lived a good and moral life, but it was a superficial profile. Only when magnified by the most powerful lens of God’s Word did the truly sinister reality of my thoughts like anger and insults become exposed and revealed.
Our lives all need to be viewed through the highest magnification of God’s Word. Only by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will we be able to change our heart and free it of the sinful desires that we are powerless to change by our own efforts.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.