After being challenged to regularly evaluate and ask God to show me my “blind spots,” I began making it a habit to pray for God to expose my heart and show me any error I might be walking into. It has been a life-changing practice, and one that keeps me uncomfortable . . . in a good way!
I find that I pray this way even more fervently as I get older, because I have seen many people fall away into bad doctrine and sinful lifestyles, all because of things they allowed into their lives. It has been very sobering, and it has caused me to look into the face of God even more. I am very aware of the fact that I could be one of those who is drawn away from the truth or hinders the work of God in my life!
God is so faithful to show me what I need to see!
1. He has used faithful, godly friends who have loved me enough to tell me the truth.
Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
When my daughter was only three months old, I was spending time with a friend at my apartment, and my husband came home for lunch. I made him lunch and he went back to work. After he left my friend looked at me and said, “May I share something with you? The way that you talk to your husband is wrong!”
I had a choice to make. I could tell her to mind her own business, or I could see it as something God allowed in to help me learn how to be a godly wife and how to set an example for my children. It cut me to the heart. I knew she was right. It was a turning point for me. Even though I am far from perfect in the way I speak to Brian, I wonder what kind of home my children would be growing up in and what kind of marriage I would have had I not allowed God to use my friend’s words.
I have experienced many times when others have shared in similar ways, and although it has not been comfortable, I am very grateful for their boldness. My husband has also been used, in more ways than I can express, to point me to God’s ways and keep me on the right path and away from “trends” or wrong mindsets . . . even within “Christianity.”
2. He has opened my eyes to my own heart as I observe others.
I Corinthians 11:1: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
There have been times I’ve been in a situation, heard a mom yell at her child or husband, and on the way home, felt sick inside. Such situations serve as a reminder to me of what I am capable of. When I see how those actions affect others, I pray that God would keep me from doing that!
I remember one example very clearly. Years ago at a church dinner, after praying for the meal, I observed several children race to the front of the buffet line, almost knocking people down to be first in line. Then I observed their parents doing just about the same thing! I sensed the Lord teaching me through that situation the importance of teaching my children to serve by waiting and allowing others to go first. I need to teach them by example as well.
Often I will be with someone and observe their good example, and God will use it as a challenge to me that I need to grow in that area. I can think of several people in my life right now that God has put a “magnifying glass” over for me to observe.
3. He uses the mirror of His Word.
Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
When I read God’s Word, I am confronted with a standard that is held out for me. I am so thankful for God’s unconditional love, grace, and mercy that He has poured out on me because when I look into the mirror I see so many imperfections” and I am tempted to despair. Thankfully I sense God continually working in my life and showing me myself. Even though it is hard at times, I don’t ever want to become content with where I am spiritually. I want to be always changing, growing, and being more grounded in truth.
There are so many ways of thinking that one can get caught up in. I want to make sure that what I follow is grounded in God’s inerrant Word, and that who I am becoming is one who reflects the image of Christ. Not an image or mold that I come up with . . . or one that our society, or even other Christian, have dictated for me.