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Pray by Day
Bite-sized reflections from Pray by Day

Author: Martin Steinbereithner, a member of the Servants of the Word, an international, ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord.

You Become What You Behold

In his first epistle, John writes: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3 RSV)

First John is all about what God has done for us and how that changes the way we live. This passage focuses on us being “children of God”. This can sound almost new-agey, but it is a mind-blowing concept that we humans would be God’s children, with all that this entails. The author contrasts our current state, that of being some poor reflection of God’s nature with the final state, when we will, amazingly, be “like him”. The key to our complete transformation seems to be that we will see God fully, as he is. In other words, the more we truly see God, the more we get changed into his likeness. But far from simply waiting for that event to occur at the end of time, we should actively pursue the vision of God, through prayer and contemplation. The more we do so, the more we get transformed. Or, in the words of William Blake, “You become what you behold”.

Ask yourself today: “What do I spend my time looking at, thinking about, beholding? Is it material things, myself or role models? Or do I spend time beholding God?”



Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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