Why You Should Look At Yourself With The Same Gaze Of Mercy God Does

by Faith & Life, Morals & Values, Sacraments, Self-Knowledge, Sin

When you look at yourself what to do you see? Is your gaze one of love and truth, or judgment and despair? Do you understand the significance of God’s mercy? Or, have you rejected it from your heart?

The video tries to tap into the drama of every human heart that suffers at the sight of his or her own shortcomings, difficulties, and sins.

The sadness and despair appear to be unbearable; hope seems to be lost. Yet, this changes when a new image is offered, a new look, a new perception of who we are and who we are meant to be.

You Make Beautiful Things

As Christians, we are invited to be people of great hope, saved and transformed by the love and mercy of Christ. It isn’t just a new way of seeing ourselves; it is a new way of being. He restores our image and likeness to God and confers upon us the status of sons and daughters of God.

A Deeper Look

Some might take away from the video an exhortation to look more positively at oneself. To this I would disagree. I would say that it reminds us to look more realistically at ourselves. We need to be more aware, not less, of our faults and sins. However, this awareness is never separated from the added awareness of God’s mercy and grace that allows true change, true conversion, and true hope.

They are two movements that form one dynamic: We must recognize our sins before the Lord, experiencing authentic sorrow for the ways that we have rejected our Father’s love and, in turn, rejected our true identity. At the same time, we must ask the Lord to lend us his eyes that we may see ourselves as he does. We must remember who God, in his mercy and love, unceasingly invites us to be –no matter how grave our sins– and put forth a genuine daily effort to become that person.

There is no higher Christian value than that of conversion. 

This is the Christian triumph that explains the moving force of pastor that leaves his flock for a lost sheep, of a father that runs towards his lost son. This is the secret joy of a repentant thief hung on the cross…This is the dynamic of our daily Christian life; this is the drama of each confession, of each Mass. It is a drama that refuses to ignore those embarrassing moments of greed, of lust, of hate towards others, of lies… and simultaneously is able to perceive and experience the reality of Christ’s words, “Be not afraid, I have conquered the world.”

“Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” Chesterton

 Apostolic Elements:

1. The video would be great when speaking about confession. Still, I would try to apply it to every moment of our lives. The practice of making a daily examination of conscience is highly advisable.

2. As Christians, we aren’t called to bring judgment, rather, the Good News. Many people give up on their path towards conversion because they can’t take their eyes off their sins. Their faith is weakened and slowly devoured by guilt. Our role, then, is to help them to accept their faults in a context of mercy and hope, thereby showing them the path towards forgiveness and conversion: the Lord Jesus.

3. Finally, it’s important to understand the necessity of the Church. We aren’t called to salvation just individually, but all together as one People of God. This means that we must allow others to help us in our battle against sin and do the same for others.

What does Scripture Say?

– “Go and learn what this means, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.” (Mat 9: 13)

– “Stand firm, and do not be willing to be again held by the yoke of servitude.” (Gal 5:1)

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