..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Spiritual Examen : Seeing Myself as God Sees Me

As we continue to explore the seven deadly sins, we need to lay
some groundwork. You may be asking, "What good will looking
at my sinfulness do me?"  Won't it be discouraging? What if I
get discouraged and give up? 

The important thing to remember in all this is that we are not
just routing out our sins as if we were finding rotten easter
eggs hidden in a garden. The point is to rid ourselves of
the false image of ourselves that cloaks our relationship
with sinful attitudes and habits. No one can argue that
we should agree with God and that His view of us is
the correct view, right?  So let us begin by asking God
for His view of us!

Heavenly Father, please show me how You view me.
Just as You looked at the seven churches in the book
of Revelation, pointing out both their strengths and their
shortcomings, please reveal to me what pleases you
about my life and what can be improved. Show me
what is hurting You as You watch me, and, show me
where I fail to see the effects of sin hurting me.
It is easy for You to hate sin because You
clearly see what it does to us. Give us that same clarity!

When I see that I have been entertaining such
dangerous and repugnant company it will be so much
easier to allow You to take action in my heart.
Please show me what I need to know, ...I know you
will do it in a way that is as easy as possible for me
to accept. Its ok if it gets hard. I love You and trust
Your hand and Your counsel in my life. Amen!

Part of what is amiss is that we too readily trust
our own opinion of ourselves. How we look at
something is often caught up in how it affects me,
what benefits it seems to have for me, and what
will be the easiest and least invasive route for
me to get to where and what I want. But Jesus
did not live this way. Jesus said, Truly, truly, I say
to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing. For
whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my
judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the
will of him who sent me. ..If I alone bear witness about
myself, my testimony is not deemed true. There is another
 [John the Baptist]who bears witness about me, and I know
that the testimony that he bears about me is true... But the
testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the
works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very
works that I am doing, bear witness about me that
 the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself
borne witness about me. (John 5: 19, 30-32. 36-37).

Jesus lived before His Father in utter simplicity and trust.
He did not hold his own opinion. He only looked to God.
There was no pressured sense of Himself that He felt compelled to
"live up to." He listened to and lived for His Father alone. He
did not need to look to others to see what their opinion
was, He simply walked with God.

So let us put ourselves in the hands of God and ask
Him to show us how He views us: after we get
acclimated to the downgrade, we can enjoy the
upgrade :), for we are far worse than we know,
and yet, far more holy children of God than we can
take in.  Let the huge weight be lifted from your
shoulders: just be who God made you to be,
nothing more, or less!


Kathleen said...

I have to say a big amen on this post. Thanks for posting this. It is so true.

oontie said...

The words "just be who God made you to be, nothing more or less" are interesting when we consider that God has called us to be like Him, nothing more nor less! The Apostle Paul says very explicitly, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom 8:20). In my experience the Lord shows us what we are and what we ought to be through many daily situations and circumstances. O if only we would heed the voice of the Spirit!