Looking at Others Through Fresh Eyes — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

Looking at Others Through Fresh Eyes — Morning Devotions

God sees each of us through eyes of unconditional love, and he loves everyone. We need to do the same; learn to see others as God sees them.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsWednesday 16 Dec 2020Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes

Very often we look at people and make a hasty judgement—whether we like them or not, or what kind of personality they have. And guess what? Sometimes our decision is wrong—or we’re too hasty.

Things are often not as they seem. Like the illustration you might have seen of two straight lines and a candlestick—or two faces—if you look at it long enough. It depends on your vision and perspective, looking at the picture. Or when there’s a traffic accident. Police ask witnesses to come forward and explain.

Each onlooker who witnessed the accident will have a slightly different perspective, depending on where they were, how far they were, how good a view they had, what else was going on, how much danger they felt they were in, how the accident affected them, what the accident means to them. Then it gets quite complicated for the police to get an accurate picture.

And when you think about this, it’ s the same principle with everything—each situation, event, conversation, means something different to all those involved, and also to those not involved. We give different meanings, according to our belief systems, and how we are affected by the event. That’s why I like the old quote: We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.

Interpreting Our Perceptions

We look at situations, events, and interpret what other people say and do, according to our own set of past experiences, culture, faith, and values—all of which helps us form our beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general.

The meaning we give events, the way we make sense of our world, is based upon our set of core beliefs—even if we’re not consciously thinking about our belief system. What kind of childhood did you have ? Were you loved and accepted as a youngster growing up; or were you criticized and put down by harsh parents? It makes a difference in the way you view others. It is as though we are looking at the world through distorted or coloured lenses—and everyone has their own personal prescription or colour for their glasses. I hope you can make sense of what I’m trying to say.

It is as though we are looking at the world through distorted or coloured lenses.

Can we learn to see things and people differently? Sometimes our emotions are so damaged we can’t see the wood for the trees—the bigger picture is difficult because our view is so entrenched. I’m not going to change for anybody, is what I’ve heard a few say. It’s your perspective that matters. In Thailand one doctor had a sign on his door that said, Fairly Reliable Doctor. It was written in Thai language and the advertisement meant that the doctor could be trusted to deliver professional medical services. But from the perspective of English speakers, the sign was amusing for its underwhelming endorsement of the doctor’s dependability.

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Looking Through Jesus’ Eyes

But I came across a short, simple prayer the other day that stopped me in my tracks: God, please help me to see others as you see them. That’s very challenging. It really means that when I look at somebody else, I want to see them just as God sees them. But as a Christian, I fail to do that many times. The best way is look again at Jesus when he was a man on earth. We read in the gospels of many occasions when he encountered people. Read yourself the way he talked and interacted with them.

He was honest, straightforward, compassionate, and was always thinking of their welfare, not his own. Jesus taught his disciples how to see people through heaven’s eyes. His view of people was radical. He saw them not as they were but as they might become. In all of his interactions with people, Jesus treated them with dignity and respect. Often Jesus surprised his disciples by the way he treated people. Even in the day of his terrible suffering at Calvary, Jesus’ thoughts were for others, not himself. How incredible is that!

God sees each of us through eyes of unconditional love, and he loves everyone—it doesn’t matter what they do, where they work, how much money they have, how educated they are or what they look like. We need to do the same. We need to learn to see others as God sees them.