Here’s a peek into my back yard. Without the sun penetrating them, my windows look clean, right?
Then the the morning sun shines in, and whoa! I need to clean those! But, I think, just wait a bit and they’ll look fine because the sun only shines in for a short while. Now, this is fine for windows, but not for our real lives.
When the windows of my house are clean, the light shines in more beautifully, and I can see out with greater clarity.
The windows of our souls are the same! The cleaner the windows to our souls are, the more clearly we can see out and see the reality of situations and people around us. And the more God’s love can shine in.
When the windows to our souls are dirty, our perceptions are blurred by our own weakness and sin. And our lack of willingness to grow and confess soon limits us from receiving and giving love well. Beyond simply seeing with our eyes, the state of our hearts determines our “way of seeing” life around us.
We tend to hide our weaknesses and sin, to put on the best appearance we can, in order to avoid the pain and vulnerability of seeing the weak or dark parts of who we are. But those parts don’t disappear just because we avoid them or cover them up so people don’t see!
Our windows are still dirty when the sun isn’t shining in. These parts just sit there in our lives, bearing bad fruit – influencing our responses, emotions, ways of seeing life, thinking, and ways of relating to people and God.
And all the while we, and other people, are living with the negative results in our lives.
We also tend to think the problem is outside of us, rather than being caused by ourselves and our way of seeing.
For example, let’s say I want to look good and am concerned with how people see me. There’s a woman whom I think has it all together, so I feel intimidated and distance myself from her, and judge her as fake and trying too hard. In reality, it is my way of seeing her that is the problem, not necessarily her. It is certain that she is an imperfect person like me, and I might even enjoy friendship with her if I changed my way of seeing and thinking!
It’s like looking out my dirty windows and saying my neighbor’s car needs to be washed, when it’s really my windows that need a wash.
What can we do? It takes courage to be willing to see our dirty windows! It is a journey to become aware and grow as a person. A jourey which is best taken in relationship with other people and Jesus.
- Be real with Jesus. Spend some time with him, in the Word or journaling or thoughtful prayer. Ask for his help to be aware of yourself and grow. With Jesus real forgiveness, growth, and change are possible!
- Be real with someone we trust. Invite another trusted person into your life to share this journey with. We’re often so used to the smudges on our windows that we can’t see them – they are blind spots for us. We need someone else’s help.
- Understand the lens you see the world through with the CliftonStrengths Top 5 assessment. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I can help you identify how your Strengths Themes might influence the way you see and respond to life.
An amazing thing happens as we clean the windows to our souls. We receive forgiveness, love, and help to grow from God.
As a result the love of Jesus shines more brightly out of our lives! We reflect the love we have received from God, since our weakness and sin no longer dim our windows from letting the light through.
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
~ 1 John 1:9
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.~ Ephesians 5:13-14
How does your “way of seeing” reveal your heart and shape your responses? Which of the above steps will you take?
Discover how your Strengths Themes are a lens through which you see life with a free Top 5 CliftonStrengths assessment and a complimentary coaching conversation. Simply write me a note and we’ll set it up for you!
Kathryn Featherstone is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and a board-certified Christian Life Coach. She’d like to encourage you in your journey! Write her a note or see her Coaching page.