After reading (a very convicting) Day 5 of the She Reads Truth Sermon on the Mount study, I couldn't stop singing "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath. The bridge, particularly, became my prayer:
I've been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You've seen the people all along
My prayer is for more wisdom and discernment, but also to be able to see people and situations and the world through God's eyes! That's a tall order, and a scary prayer. It's about as scary as the "I'm here God, send me" prayer. But, I want this. I want my "Father's Eyes". (Another song, this one by Amy Grant.)
Something our Pastor has been saying these past few weeks is that if we try to reach non-believers through a "religious Christianity", through rules and laws, and dos and do-nots, we are not giving those people life. We are leading them to their deaths. He's totally right, too, because the rules and laws and dos and do-nots are what turned me off of Christianity in my teens and early 20s (oh lawdy, I'm not in my 20s anymore, oh dear), and -- scary thought -- if I'd died during that time of wandering, would I have gone to heaven? Only God knows.
I loved when the study confirmed our Pastor's distinction though, and added to it, by saying,
...when we go to those [sinful] places in our hearts, someone is dying: we are...
So not only when we try to live religiously, or by the law, but also when we're judging, when we're angry, when we're lusting, when we're being self-righteous, etc., we're killing our spiritual selves. Yikes.
Here's a happy thought though, taken from my Study Bible:
Jesus made it clear that God is not after outward compliance but inward change. He doesn't want religious fanatics but spiritually transformed men and women, whose lives are completely devoted to Him. He wants people who love to do His will.
-The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, in reference to Matthew 5:28
So, yes, this does confirm again how important internal change and self-awareness are, but to me it's also another reminder that we're not perfect, and it pleases God that we're trying to transform ourselves spiritually; it pleases God that we desire to be changed. This is something God wants from us: He wants us to want Him.