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From In the Eye of the Storm, by Max Lucado:
"When Jesus saw the people, he saw an opportunity to love and affirm value. When the disciples saw the people, they saw thousands of problems." (Based off of Matthew 14:15-16, Mark 6:37 / The Feeding of the 5,000)
I don't know about you, but I've been in the disciples' shoes on many occasions...."did you see how she just talked to her husband?....I can't believe that man just pulled out in front of me!.....Why is this lady taking so long checking out of the grocery store in front of me?" Lucado also calls these negative character traits "filthy socks", and they sure do stand out like a sore thumb! (My "filthy socks" can be just as putrid.)
I do it often. Too often. I throw the stone at others before I handle my own sin in the presence of Almighty God. I have plenty to work on myself. Even then, I am not called to judge others' problems - I am called to love them for where they currently are. What if that lady and her husband need to see a loving marriage but have never had that opportunity - my husband and I could be that opportunity? What about that man that pulled out in front of me in traffic - what kind of example am I being by getting raged at him for a simple mistake? It certainly doesn't portray the love of Christ. And what about the sweet lady who is in line in front of me at the grocery store - what a great opportunity to casually talk with her, and hopefully create a conversation with her that could lead into her spiritual life? Seeds could be planted! The problem is...I didn't see any of these scenarios in the way Christ would have.
I need to start seeing the opportunities to love people and build them up in the manner Christ would have.
Luke 6:31 - And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
John 8:7 - So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
1 John 3:18 - Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.
Lord, I pray that you would help me in seeing people through Your eyes. When others' problems become apparent, help me do what I can to help, yet trust You with the problem itself. Help me, instead, to see the value and the beauty in each individual, as You have created us intricately and with great purpose. Thank You, Father, for seeing me as someone worth dying for, despite all my failures. You have redeemed me, and set me free from my chains of bondage! I praise You, Abba!