When you see others, what do you see? If you are looking through the lenses of the world, you see only what is before you in the way of physical appearance and performance. But if you are gazing through Gospel glasses, you see beyond the externals to what is going on inside a person with every beat of his or her heart.
The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
How easy it is to judge a “book by its cover,” as has often been said. What a distorted or exaggerated picture the cover can project, causing us to miss the things that matter most! God said the heart matters most—not appearance . . . not height . . . not pedigree. And the heart can only be clearly viewed through Gospel glasses worn over the eyes of our hearts.
How easy it is to see others only in the light of what they can do for us—how they can assist us in advancing our agenda, accomplishing our goals, and achieving our dreams. But this is not for you! Gospel glasses help us see in others what God sees; and when we look at them from this perspective, we are being used by God to reverse the curse. Instead of loving things and using people as a means to an end, we begin loving people and using things as a means to advance the cause of God’s kingdom in this world. Gazing through Gospel glasses helps us focus on expanding the cause of God’s kingdom rather than our own kingdom.
The Gospel teaches us to see people—all people—as the image bearers of God. This means we see every person through the lenses of value, dignity, and purpose. Every person matters. Gazing through Gospel glasses enables us to see past our autonomous and self-focused style of living. We no longer focus on our own wants and needs and begin to look to the wants and needs of others, even going so far as to begin caring for people who don’t directly benefit or bless us. Gospel glasses help us to see better, think bigger, and live larger for the glory of God and the good of others.
Gazing through Gospel glasses empowers us to see the beauty and benefits of living in community . . . in spite of the conflicts that will inevitably arise. We finally understand that everything we have experienced and endured is all part of God’s perfect process of bringing us stumbling helplessly to the end of ourselves and kneeling humbly at the foot of the cross. We recognize our need for community and the needs of the community, and we do everything within our power to meet those needs, even at great personal cost.
So . . . what lenses have you been gazing through lately? What do you see when you look at others? If you want to see others as God sees them—as God sees you—you will have to look at them through the lens of the Gospel.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!