Now, wait. Before you read on, go back and look at that title again. No, really. Please. Go ahead and read it again.
Now, a question. Have you ever said that in a prayer to God? Have you ever asked God to show you what you’re really like?
Maybe the question should be, Can you? Can you ask God to show you what you’re really like? You know what they say, “Be careful what you ask for!” because if you ask God to show you the real you, you know He’s gonna show you! “[I]f we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Are you ready to see it? Are you ready to see for yourself all that God already sees about you? I mean all of it—not just the good but also the bad and the ugly? Could you stand it?
I don’t mean to be critical or rude or even self-righteous here. I’m really asking this question to myself—could I stand it?—because it was just recently that I first really heard the idea of asking God to show you what you’re really like, and it made me cringe so bad I couldn’t even finish the whole thought in my mind before I wanted to run away from it inside.
But it hit me like a ton of bricks — “Lord, show me what I’m really like” — and I can’t run anymore, try as I may. So, I’m writing about it now and sharing it with you because it’s been so much on my heart and because, well, to be totally honest, it’s too scary to think about it and even pray for it all by myself.
So, who’s willing to take that plunge with me? “Lord, show me what I’m really like?”
Okay, maybe you, like me, still need a little coaxing. Let’s consider what Jesus, the true vine, says about our Father the Gardener in John 15:2: “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Then there’s James 1:22-25 about how being a hearer but not also a doer of God’s Word is the same as looking for a moment in a mirror and then immediately forgetting and distorting in your mind what you really saw.
Don’t we purposely hold up for ourselves little compact mirrors that are small enough to reflect only what we want to see about ourselves— you know, all those treasured little bible verses we’ve so readily put to memory because we think we’ve lived up to them?
And maybe we have. But it’s easy to hold up little mirrors to our good parts here and there, especially if we don’t hold them up for too long. But “Lord, show me what I’m really like” — now that’s a long hard look in a full-length mirror. Ugh!
We have to recognize, accept, and then repent from all those things about ourselves that our Father wants to purge from us so that we can flourish in Him — those things like (dare I say?) fear, pride, bitterness, stubbornness, insecurity, cynicism, self-righteousness, self-centeredness, foolishness, carnality, indifference or whatever else lurks beyond the surface of what we’ll allow ourselves and everyone else to see in us.
If we’ll just go ahead and ask to see what ugly things we have in us, then He who shows them to us will also cleanse, comfort, and bless us.
See the companion essay, "Bearing Fruit? Or Building Totem Poles?"
Yes, He does convict us -- show us where we need repentance and cleansing. But surprisingly enough, there's always the chance, and a very real probability at that, that the Lord will look at us with such love and devotion and sing us a song from His heart... "Created in MY image --- 'When I look at you, I can see the fingerprints of God.'" In fact, He looks at those of us who have been called according to His purpose and all He sees is red... the blood of His Only Begotten. (From my own works: 'My God is Not Colorblind' and 'What Do You See?') This was a very well written article to remind us to be honest with ourselves and our God so that He might cleanse and restore us. I'm honored to have read it. Bless you.