The Gift of Knowing Yourself

Man Looking at self in mirror

Oddly enough the Lord recently brought me to an old song by The Who: Behind Blue Eyes. The song is about a man who knows he’s a fiend hidden behind what the world considers beautiful – blue eyes. He’s facing the reality that he was angry and felt like a prisoner because he wasn’t what he looked like—he wasn’t “blue-eyed” inside. He felt trapped because no one knew the pain lying just beyond the facade of his external beauty.

Oh, how I praise God for being spiritually neurotic! I’ve felt guilty for as long as I can remember.  I assumed blame for most everything, even things which weren’t my responsibility. And I’ve needed prayer for that, as well healing, but the thing I consider a gift now is that I knew I was depraved. I knew my need for a Savior. I came to Jesus dejected, despairing, and desperate. Circumstantially, God set up my story to humble me.  I was the low and dirty whore who couldn’t look up into Jesus’ face.  Sure I was angry, proud, rebellious, and evil—but I knew it. My sinfulness was inescapable. I couldn’t pretty my sin up; it would’ve been like putting lipstick on a pig, just wrong. Knowing yourself is such a gift.

As I look at the humiliation of my story, I see it a little differently now. I look at it with such gratitude. How horrible it would be to not know your need for a Savior!  How pitiable it is for the one who judges himself by appearance or the opinion of man. What if my appearance and/or charm caused me to believe I was okay, all the while not being so? What if, as the song goes, my beautiful blue eyes were all that people saw, and so I remained unchallenged and even celebrated? What if I lived my whole life as the belle of the ball, and waltzed my way straight into hell thinking I was all right?  I’ve met people like this, and the work to get them to see is tremendous. Only the Spirit can open these sightless eyes, and yet some still choose to remain blind.

So if we’re blessed to be the least, if our story is filled with inescapable humiliation and suffering, if we look at ourselves in the mirror and see abject neediness rather than shining success, it might be that valuable gift which makes us desperate enough to look for a Savior. Though Christ is the only way to salvation, perhaps our desperate need is the thing that made us ready to receive His choosing.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
Matthew 21:31b

I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven of little shows only little love.
Luke 7:47 NLT

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    • Irene

      “Open the eyes of my heart Lord . . .”

    • Fabi

      So often I really wish to have “least ones” like you around… what a sense of home!

      Thank you!

    • Lynn


    • Sam

      Ah… thank you John. Piercing to the bone. Inescapable love to YOU from the Father Lord!


    • Ricardo Palmira Soto.

      Jesús nos Ama. Ciertísimo,solo aceptamos a nuestro Señor, estando muy necesitados, por eso tuve que pasar por cosas horribles para aceptar a mi Salvador. Bendito el Dios Eterno.Gracias hno. John. <

      • Sam

        A translation: “Jesus loves us. Absolutely true, we only accept our Lord by being very needy; that’s why I had to go through horrible things in order to accept my Saviour. Blessed be the Eternal God. Thank you bro. John.”

    • Susan

      Me too, me too! We need to see our desperate need of Him continually! And every time I get to thinking I know something… I don’t and find I am no better than a self-righteous Pharisee. Bless you John.

    • Seth

      I thank the Lord for the reality of my need for Him. This post IS Good News.

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