Daily Worship

Seeing ourselves

Rhona Cathcart March 31, 2023 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
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1 John 1: 8-9 (NRSVA)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Rabbie Burns famously wrote:

“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An’ foolish notion”

The words come at the end of a poem addressed To A Louse crawling in the bonnet of a well-dressed woman at church. With needle sharp precision Burns skewers the hypocrisy of those who consider themselves ‘fine’, often entirely unaware that they too are subject to the parasites that affect humbler folk.

It takes courage to look at our unfiltered selves, especially in this age when so much of our images are filtered to remove perceived imperfections. It’s possible that Burns had John’s advice in mind when he wrote his words. But the gift John wants us to receive is more than the ability to see ourselves as others do. It is the gift to see ourselves as God does, with total honesty and boundless compassion.

I am flawed. You are flawed. The parasites of sin, including hypocrisy, afflict us all. But learning to look at ourselves with God’s unfiltered eye can help free us both from self-judgement and from the judgment of others. It also frees us from “monie a blunder… An’ foolish notion” and sets us on the road to forgiveness.




Sovereign God,

Give us the courage to accept the gift you gie us

To see ourselves

as you see us.


Lent Disciplines


This week we focus on ‘patience’. Try taking some time each day to quietly spend five minutes in silence, not doing anything, just stilling yourself before God and resting. You don’t need to feel any pressure to think about anything in particular. Don’t worry if you get distracted. Gently calm your mind and, if it wanders, bring it back to the idea of quiet and silence.