I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. —Job 42:5-6
To this point in Job's story, he has defended himself to his friends. When they hinted that perhaps there was something shady in his background, Job denied it. "I have been honest and fair. I have contributed to my community and maintained my integrity." When he looked at himself in the light of others, Job came out looking pretty good.
We like comparing ourselves with others. When we make others the standard for righteousness, we often come out looking good. "I am not perfect, but I am a lot better than he is." But in the end, we won't be judged by the standards of others. The standard by which we will be judged is Jesus Christ.
When Job turned his eyes toward God, his view of himself changed. He said, "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." He who had maintained his integrity suddenly saw himself in the light of God's holiness and purity. Seeing his own filth, he repented.
You may pride yourself in your accomplishments or successes. But mark this, when you see a proud man, you see a man who has not yet encountered God.
Because once you truly see God, there is no place for pride— even if you are a minister, a president or the Pope. Once a person truly sees God, the result is deep contrition and humility. The result is a repentant heart— a heart that cries out, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
Father, our hearts long to see You that we might have a true awareness of ourselves, and that we might be changed. God, make us like You. Amen