When I suspect my kids of being up to something, I always take the opportunity to remind them that God knows what’s in their heart. I say this to them as a genuine reminder that they may get something over on me, but that doesn’t work with God. The minute the words come out of my mouth, I’m reminded that the same applies to me. How does that statement sit with you? I’m often terrified.
If you, too, are terrified at the prospect of God being able to see into your soul and know the true motivation for all your actions, don’t feel bad. We’re not awful people, we’re just, well, people. We’re flawed. And we have a way of justifying our actions even when we harshly judge those same actions by others. For example, I encourage my kids to participate at Mass and pay attention to what is going on. Yet, to be truthful, I know there are times when I’m distracted and instead of focusing on the beauty of the liturgy, I’m worried about the things I have to do once I get home. I may fuss at my kids about their priorities but honestly, there are moments when I’m tempted to scroll social media and skip reading Scripture. Of course, my actions are justifiable. I’m occasionally distracted at church because I have “a lot on my plate right now,” and just a few minutes on social media won’t hurt because we all need a little “me time.” But in those moments when the Holy Spirit takes the finger I’m pointing at my kids and points it right back at me, I pause. How is God going to judge these actions? What’s really in my heart at these moments?
We all have moments when we don’t have God squarely at the center of our lives. At our final judgement, He will let us know that He saw the times we didn’t trust in Him, the times we were selfish, and all the times we tried to convince ourselves that our behavior was justified. But the beauty of our Lord is that He loves us despite everything He sees in us, despite the truth that He knows about us! And our Lord will show us mercy. Of course, that mercy will be handed out justly. That’s okay though because our wonderful Lord will also see all the times we tried, really hard, to love Him and everyone else we encounter.
The last time I pointed out the reality of God’s x-ray vision of our hearts to me kids, I decided to try something in my own heart. I had to make a choice about attending a weekday mass with someone or getting some things knocked off my to-do list. I had lots of stuff on that list, but I asked myself what God would think was more important. Obviously, I went to church. When I remember to try to see my actions in the same way God may judge them one day, it helps me to put everything in the right perspective. It’s a process and I’m not there yet but I’m trying. And God sees that too.
Copyright 2019 Michelle Jones Schroeder