April 20, 2022
Why My Heart Makes a Poor Window
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“Nothing is perfect except your words.” Psalm 119:96 (TLB)
There was snow outside, but the forecast in first grade was balmy.
It was “beach day” at the elementary school — a day for singing songs about sunshine and creating art projects with seashells, for eating snacks on beach towels and doing science experiments with sprinkles of sand. And my youngest daughter was dressed for the occasion.
She donned a tropical sundress and a wide-brimmed hat, bright orange flip-flops and a sand-dollar necklace. Finally, with a happy squeal, she placed her beloved pink sunglasses on the bridge of her nose and headed to the minivan where her siblings waited.
As my beach girl climbed into the back seat, she peered at her siblings through her rosy sunglasses and pointed to each one.
“You look mad. And you look mad. And you look mad, too!”
Giggles erupted, and I posed this question: “What makes you think everybody’s mad today?”
“Their faces are red!” my first grader replied. I glanced at the kids behind me, but I didn’t spy ruddy cheeks or flushed foreheads, pink streaks of embarrassment or crimson gleams of anger. I merely saw the profiles of my clear-skinned children.
As I was about to correct my little girl, she removed her sunglasses. With wide-eyed chagrin, she stared at her siblings once more. As she realized those cheap reflective lenses had cast a reddish glow over everything, her lips spread into a contrite smile.
“You don’t look mad anymore!” she admitted. “I guess my glasses tricked me.” Those shimmery shades may have functioned as a fine accessory, but they served as a poor window to the world.
It’s easy to laugh about my daughter’s beach-day blunder, but I’ve suffered from unreliable optics, too. In fact, when it comes to my spiritual sight, I don’t need a pair of cheap sunglasses to distort my vision. My own heart can swiftly skew my view of God’s.
If I look at God through the lens of my feelings or the scope of my circumstances, I may see Him as careless or capricious.
If I look at God through the monocle of my doubt or the spyglass of my discouragement, I may regard Him as unwilling or unable.
If I look at God through the pane of my pride or the peephole of my fear, I may perceive Him as angry or aloof, faithless or fickle.
And sadly, the more I peer through my own murky lens, the more my view of His goodness grows dim.
The humbling truth is this: My finite perspective makes a poor window for an infinite God.
This succinct sentence reminds us that the Bible isn’t just a string of stories or a collection of rules; it’s the only way to gain a foolproof view of God’s heart on this side of heaven. The Bible doesn’t just instruct our hearts; it refines our vision.
Scripture reveals where the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:18) have been tricked by our feelings or deceived by our worries, clouded by concerns or deluded by disappointment. (Hebrews 4:12) When we engage with God’s Word, our outlook shifts. Like a little beach girl I once knew, we begin to humbly identify those places where our sight has been skewed.
Suddenly we see that … Our unmet expectations portrayed God as unkind, but His Word reveals He is endlessly compassionate. (1 Peter 5:7; Exodus 34:6) Our pain painted God as distant, but His Word promises He is forever near. (Matthew 28:20) Our unanswered prayers made God seem inattentive, but His Word confirms He is always listening. (John 11:42)
This is how we improve our spiritual vision, friends! We open our Bibles and invite the Holy Spirit to help us trade our unreliable optics for unchanging Truth. As we do, we often come face to face with God’s goodness … and we can’t help but marvel at the view.
Dear Jesus, I want to see You! Show me where my view of Your goodness is distorted. Repair my warped vision with Your perfect Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
What if the most crucial step we've been missing in preparing for a difficult conversation is first understanding how best to relate to the other person? Our friend Lisa Allen, leadership coach, is back on The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast to help us understand the four conflict personality styles so we can be more self-aware and more understanding of other people. Using Scripture as our guide, she will teach us why healthy conflict is important and how to do it better. Learn to meet the needs of the person you are talking to, without denying your own needs, the next time you enter a tough conversation. Click here to listen now!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.” (TLB)
What “window” (situation or lie) has been warping your vision of God? What truth from Scripture can provide a more reliable view?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2022 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.