how can i see my sins?
God Wants you in heaven
The Ugly Truth
Knowing our sinfulness is essential for salvation. Dying with just ONE sin we refuse to see because we love it–don’t want to see or stop committing it–rejects God’s most merciful gift of Eternal Life for that sin.
Oh, it is hard work to bring to the light what we have hidden so well in the dark.
If we don’t really want to know our misery, which is going to bring about hurt, shock and sadden us, then don’t even proceed; we still won’t see enough to allow God to save our souls.
Do I sound harsh? Well, I’m trying to be harsh so the weak will leave and gain some courage before proceeding.
If done correctly, this process is going to crush us. There is no gentle way (one that causes no pain) to see our great sinfulness. If we want to protect our feelings, then we don’t really want to know who we are and what we need to amend.
If we are still so weak that we can’t bear the truth that we are less than wonderful, then this process simply ins’t going to work.
Salvation isn’t for the weak.
God will tolerate our weakness (lack of humility) for a while, but He intends to make us strong. If we have read this website and now want to know our misery, if we really want to know what we must repent and change from, so God can save us, then we must already be strong enough to handle the real truth…or we will still just justify our sins away because we can’t stand the painful reality of who we are and the sins we really love.
We must be willing to accept the fact that this honest look into our souls is going to cause us to feel horrible about ourselves (in a good way) and most likely cause us to need to remove what we enjoy most in life.
If we aren’t willing to see what terrible children of God we really are and how little we really love God…if we aren’t willing to surrender all we run to for happiness (our idols) so to truly love God and not the world, then we must surrender to the reality of our eternal demise instead, so we can keep what is killing us.
However, if we are willing to honestly see and admit our horrendus sinfulness, and are willing to remove all of our deadly attachments, then GREAT JOY awaits us. Oh, we won’t loose our incredible sadness over our sins…and people just won’t understand why we are so crushed from our misery, but along side of knowing our horrible sinfulness, God–at the same time–will fill us with such great hope for salvation, we will be filled with wonderful peace.
Then after much sin leaves, our relationship with God will improve, and God will envelop us with such love it will be beyond any joy or pleasure we could possible receive from any worldly indulgence. And if we continue repenting and changing–growing in greater love of God and contrition for our sins–until our last hour, we will receive the reward of Eternal Life.
We Can’t Live the Lie
But yet, most won’t obtain this joy. Many “say” we want to see our sins, but for most our desire simply isn’t true. We will see only for a moment our great need for mercy, if at all, and then from still having a great love for sin, we will go right back to living our life just the same…re-justifying our life of sin.
Most don’t want to see our failures to live a faithful, devout life, since we prefer to think we are good, but in reality, we are dying from blindness because of it.
We all have different sins that are killing us, but most have come to pride ourselves on the “good” we do, and we are now neglecting our souls–not working to truly live the faith, and suffer from presumption of salvation and are perishing into eternal anguish.
“A man reckons himself as devout because he repeats many prayers daily, although at the same time he does not refrain from all manner of angry, irritating, conceited or insulting speeches among his family and neighbors.
This [other] man freely opens his purse in almsgiving [donating money], but closes he heart to all gentle and forgiving feelings towards those who are opposed to him; while that [other] one is ready enough to forgive his enemies, but will never pay his rightful debts save [unless] under pressure. Nevertheless, they are in no true sense really devout.”
–St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church
Oh, we don’t want to be like that…ignoring our sinfulness because of the “good” we see ourselves doing, thinking we are devout. But tragically, most of us do just that. We will have to work hard to change especially at first before we receive much of God’s grace. But after receiving God’s mercy, God’s yoke will become easy and His burden light.
The main reason we can’t see our sins is because we try to justify them.
People in general don’t want to do wrong, so the reason we constantly sin is because we have justified our sins as good. Therefore, we need to come to see how we rationalize our sins if we want to see them.
For example: From coming to see her great sinfulness, a wife has learned how to obtain salvation and has amended many of her ways. However, her husband hasn’t grown to this place in his spiritual life. So to try to save his soul, she has tried to enlighten him to his errors so he can change and walk towards the path of Life.
At first, from his pride, he was offended at such “help,” but over time–from seeing her change and her great efforts to see her own sins–he humbled himself enough to at least listen to her.
Yet, she finds her words mostly in vain because he simply does’t want to see his sinfulness and comes up with a different justification as to why he isn’t sinning with almost every word of enlightenment or proof she gives.
This is sadly common for two reasons…we like our sin and don’t want to stop committing them and/or we don’t want to think of ourselves as a sinner.
We tend to become most offended and defensive when sins we love, that we don’t want to see or amend or humiliate us the greatest, are brought to the light. The more upset or defensive we become towards someone accusing us of sinning, the greater we tend to love and want to cover that sin…but even if their claim isn’t true (but never assume such a thing–always carefully examine your conscience for even part truths), however, if nothing else our poor reaction to correction lets us know of our great deadly pride we suffer from.
This upsetness we experience should be a great eye opener for those of us who want to see our sinfulness, but have not yet received enough grace to immediately be grateful for such criticism. Therefore, if we want to see, we must pay attention to our emotions…they can tell us much.
Many of us are at least humble enough to think about what someone said later, even if they initially became angry, so to have at least some hope of not remaining blind. But even for those who can reflect later on what was said, for us to stay concerned over our sin–enough to put forth effort to change–takes much grace, which sadly, most don’t have. Sadly, most only stay concerned for a moment and then all concern over their sin/salvation (fear of the Lord) leaves and they resume their life with little or no change.
Until our pride is crushed and we truly see our doom is evident, we won’t acknowledge our sinfulness, even if we think we don’t want to sin; we like to pride ourselves as being not very sinful. Therefore, when someone shows us our misery, we don’t want to look if in fact they are correct and admit we are sinning, so we look for how we aren’t sinning instead.
This is the mind set of death. I can’t express how we must banish this “I didn’t do it” attitude our pride drives us into thinking. We must work hard seeking God’s grace to stop reacting to our emotions (especially if we lack grace to naturally desire to see our misery) and listen WANTING TO LEARN OUR SINFULNESS or we will die blind. This is especially important when someone below us in society status speaks to us, as much of the time God speaks the most impactful words to us through the least of His children.
When someone talks to us, please know that moment is allowed by God for us to learn for the salvation of our souls. What does God want to teach us is the question? There are so many things. But perhaps, this person might have great enlightenment for us or they might not. But we need to be ready if they God is going to use them to help us see our sinfulness.
However, if we don’t listen wanting to love them and learn, we won’t hear God speaking to us. If they say something meant to show us our sinfulness, and our pride won’t listen to them, then we miss God sending His love to us and we just continue blindly in our sinfulness.
The main ways we will come to see our sinfulness are:
Learn the Law –
Take the Test
Ok, since we have such a hard time seeing our sins, I have a test to help us. This test can be very enlightening, if done correctly.
I have two tests.. The tests, “How Well Do You Know _________ [fill in your name]” is for ourselves and someone who knows us pretty well…a spouse, child, parent, friend, colleague, etc. The more opinions you can get about you, the better.
This test is to find out more concretely what we and others think we like, love, hate, desire…what angers us, brings us joy, causes us to sin, what we like to do and don’t like to do, what we do for others, what we like others doing for us, how we show we care, what we don’t care about, and much more. All of these answers, the positives and negitives will help us to see our sinfulness.
I can’t tell us how to read or use the test before it is taken or it will ruin the test and make it ineffective (at least the part we will fill out). Therefore, PLEASE DON’T READ the “How to Use This Test” before it is taken. Its like cheating on a test and it is guaranteed to taint our answers.
Also, please only tell someone, whom you give the test to, that this is to help you know yourself better and you would appreciate their blatant honesty…nothing more. Plus, this test isn’t good to give to someone who can’t be honest and is known for over complementing and placating others trying to make people happy.
The First Thing
When we are first looking to remove our sins, we only need to worry about amending what God has allowed us to see, unless of course we can’t see any. But even then, a standard examination is good enough. Click this link for basic examination of conscience for help.
A regurlar examination–the basic, intermediary and then advance examination–is enough, if we have desire.
This in-depth look into our sinfulness isn’t necessary to start amending. However, this in-depth look into our soul is mostly done to help us to understand our great misery so to increase our understanding of our eternal doom that awaits us if we don’t change. And therefore increases our desire to leave sin to follow God.
But like I said, it isn’t needed to begin walking towards the path of life, if we do have a great desire to amend our ways.