To see a world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake – Auguries of Innocence
Have you met you?
For the past week I have wanted to write about a new topic I feel God laid in my heart and every time I started to write I honestly felt God tell me to stop. He always said, “do not write about something you know little about. I will teach you what it really means to see yourself, not what it means to see your reflection but what it means to have reflectivity”.
After 5 days of fasting and praying I am fairly confident that I have a better understanding of the difference.
During my week I was reminded a few times of what it feels like to be hurt by someone really important to me, someone I placed a lot of value on. All my little confusions came back and I was quite devastated but amazingly God reminded me of a particular scripture that quickly changed my view to a lesson to be learnt.
Matthew 7:5 “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”.
Jesus was not talking to just one person he was talking to everyone, he also taught a similar lesson when he was with the woman accused of adultery and the crowd wanted to stone her to death in John 8:7 “ When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
It is my understanding that Jesus was not saying that sin was good and did not deserve to be punished, he was simply pointing out the deep level of hypocrisy that lies in the heart. The false view we all have for our selves. We had failed to see ourselves for what we really are. I believe the day we truly meet ourself will be a life changing experience for anyone. This to me is what first leads to true conversion.
Romans 3: 9-12 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands: there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
I realised that just as this person was hurting me again, I have also hurt many people in the past. You see one of the most amazing parts in life with God is that you will never stop learning. You will be refined all your life. You will have to come face to face with yourself several times and just like Paul, you will inevitably not like what you see, unless you are blocked by denial.
Romans 7:18-20.” And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it”.
You see one of the most amazing parts in life with God is that you will never stop learning.
James 1: 2-5 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
The real question assuming this is true for every one of us “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature”. How will we ever see ourselves for the evil that is really in us if all we do is use our mirror image (reflection) to judge?
The only solution to this is what can be termed “reflectivity”. This simply means to see yourself as others see you. If you are really serious about change in your life, ask the people that really know you. Ask the people you have hurt or are still hurting and ask the people that really love you.
There is a big difference between what we think we are and who we really are. If you are one of the many people I have met that go around deceiving themselves saying or thinking that just because you have some concept of what your weaknesses are then, this does not apply to you. You think “well I know what is right even if I don’t do it”. You have missed it totally for you still lack knowledge of what Gods love is meant to do in you.
James 1: 22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirrorand, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
I don’t know about you but when I read this and meditated on it I noticed that it says “not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
James 1: 26:Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
You see true reflectivity comes from beyond seeing yourself from the eyes of people around you but even from people you have never even met (imaginative others). What kind of writer would I be if I wrote a book for just my friends? It has to cut across; people who have never met you should be able to learn from you. Isn’t that what the bible is about? When Jesus says in the bible “you were told” he was very often talking about laws that were given 14 centuries before his time. Some where laws God gave Moses and others were man-given. It was really interesting to learn that he never once spoke like it was a law of the past. He spoke like Moses told them a few hours ago.
Finally true reflectivity or the emergence of a true view of one’s self comes from being able to evolve constantly. Remember you will never be perfect but according to the bible Psalms 51:17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart These, O God, You will not despise.
This is what ultimately creates uniqueness and imaginative accountability ( i.e being accountable to people beyond what you see around you).
I believe that if you can do this (see yourself for yourself), you will be more accommodating of people. It is the same principle that works with Alcoholics anonymous (AA) or eating disorder groups. They are bound and show love to other members because they know that they are all weak.
This will help you get one step closer into actually learning to obey what are the two foundations of faith. Matthew 22: 36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Seeing yourself helps you appreciate God’s mercy, it helps you understand the sacrifice and it also helps you truly love your neighbour. Since the fall of Adam we have been bound by this common problem. This however can only be done with honesty. If you fail to be honest with people at least in your private time be honest with yourself.
May God grant us all the courage to meet ourself and the humility to ask for his help in life.