I once was blind, but now I see is not a “one and done” proposition; it is a continual process. In fact, most of our spiritual growth involves being able to see in new ways, and that takes time. Blind spots remain. I might be able to see on one level, but still be completely blind in other areas of my life and heart.
Being able to recognize these areas is a significant part of the equation. I mean, how can I ever confess my sin, if I haven’t yet recognized it as sin in the first place? Oftentimes, we have grown so comfortable and familiar with our own patterns of sin and dysfunction that they seem perfectly normal to us. In fact, there are times when we can be so misguided that we actually begin to call them virtue. Oh sure, we can easily see the sin and dysfunction in the lives of others, but we have grown blind to it in ourselves.
That’s where silence and solitude and prayer come in. They allow God the space and time—the access, if you will—to work within us in such a way that our eyes are opened to our part of the problem. No wonder we tend to avoid them.
That’s also where the words of this ancient prayer are so helpful: “Search me, O God, and know me; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24) It is a scary prayer to pray for sure, because if we are, indeed, sincere in praying it, God will be faithful to give us exactly what we have asked for. He will show us those areas of our lives and hearts that are not congruent with all he desires us to be, and then he will bring those areas into conformity with his heart and his character and his will.
O Lord, help me to see, to really see. Help me to see the blind spots in my life and heart. Help me to see the ways and the places where I have grown so comfortable and familiar with my own sinful patterns that they seem normal to me. Help me to see how and where I have even begun to call that sin virtue. Forgive me, O Lord, for how easily I can be led astray. Forgive me for how easy it is for me to see those things in others and yet fail to see them in myself. Help me to see, O Lord, help me to really see, and then give me the courage to follow you in the way everlasting. Amen.
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