>Believing, Seeing, Thinking

>Apparently God will not let me get away with not posting for another month, because in the space of about an hour I read not only what I’m going to write about below, but also this from My Utmost For His Highest: “If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life. Struggle to reexpress some truth of God to yourself, and God will use that expression to someone else.” Well, that’s clear enough for me!

In Habits of the Mind, James Sire quotes Miguel de Unamuno:

“…if there exists in a man faith in God joined to a life of purity and moral elevation, it is not so much the believing in God that makes him good, as the being good, thanks to God, that makes him believe in Him. Goodness is the best source of spiritual clear-sightedness.” (emphasis mine)

I love this! After all, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8) This is not advocating a legalistic, self-driven view of salvation, but a simple and powerful reminder that God’s holiness simply cannot be seen by unholy eyes! I have heard before that believing is seeing, but now I understand that doesn’t mean we have to delude ourselves through faith into seeing what isn’t there, but rather that faith is the only way we can see what is there.

The goodness Unamuno speaks of is not mere action, but also thought and emotion. All of these have to be turned in a good direction if I am to see clearly. I can usually (though not always) keep my actions under control, but I struggle a lot to discipline my mind for Christ. How many times have my sinful thoughts and attitudes forced God to turn away, and yet I blame Him for being distant! And of course it’s not my goodness that summons God to me, but enables me to see more of His glory than I would otherwise.

One of my favorite parts of the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7, but I see now that verse 8 needs to be my focus for the next however-long-it-takes-for-me-to-get-this:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

I don’t know if that made any sense whatsoever. But I thought it was cool and worth sharing (unlike most of my thoughts), and it’s certainly nice to be intellectually excited again.

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