Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24
There’s an old saying: “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve.” When Johnny cracks his mother’s vase, he turns the cracked side toward the wall. Nobody gets upset about something they don’t know!
Because your joy depends on your ability to see your sins, spiritual mourning must begin here. There are three ways to get a clearer knowledge of your sins.
Open the Bible
By nature, we don’t see well. We justify what we do and we don’t see ourselves as others see us, let alone as God sees us. Reading the Bible is like putting on glasses. You are reading God’s words and His thoughts. You begin to see what God sees, and you get to know what grieves and offends Him. When reading the Bible, ask yourself these three questions. Is there a sin to avoid? A promise to believe? A command to obey?
Submit to God’s Spirit
Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, “When he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin” (John 16:8). But the Spirit does this like a flashlight, not a floodlight, for none of us could bear the full knowledge of the extent of our sin, if all of it was revealed to us at once. Sanctification is a lifelong process; there are more sins in our lives than any of us is able to see right now.
Confess to God’s people
The Bible says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (Jas. 5:16). Other Christians who know us well can help us see where we need to grow, and this is a gift from God.
Can you remember a time when you saw a sin in your life while reading the Bible? Is there a trusted Christian friend you could ask to help you identify areas of growth?