Oh, Say Can You See?

Yesterday I was thinking about all the things that I am thankful for (Thanksgiving, of course). I thought about the usual: God, family, friends and all of the blessings in my life. Then I began thinking about the hardships in life and how, in a strange way, I am thankful for those as well. I am grateful for the opportunity to sacrifice and to struggle so that I may learn to live like Christ. Today I wanted to reflect on how we can see others the way Christ does. I wanted to reflect on how to love those who we don’t necessarily like. In doing this, I came across this passage: 

“Jesus said, ‘For judgement I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.’ Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, ‘Are we also blind?’’” (John 9:39-40). 

I think most people can relate to the Pharisees in this passage. They thought they had 20/20 vision and could spot a sinner from miles away. They thought they could identify every single sin in the world. They were able to identify others’ sins without recognizing their own. Maybe, just maybe this is what caused them to be so blind in the first place? 

When Jesus looked at others, he didn’t see sinners, abominations or mistakes. He saw lost sheep in need of a shepherd. God loves us so much that he sent his only son to suffer and die for our sins. He sent us the shepherd. We are the lost sheep that Jesus came to save. If Jesus loves us so much, then why would we not return this love and love one another in the same way? How can we see Christ in everyone? 

How do you see your spouse? What about your enemy? A complete stranger? Do you treat them all with kindness and respect? Do you look upon them with the eyes of Christ? Everyone needs a little TLC. Not just our closest family and friends. EVERYONE. Whenever we demonstrate kindness towards others, we can see the Lord’s love shining through us. I think this is especially apparent when we are kind to those who have mistreated us. The same goes for someone who seems irritating. We have to work harder to be loving towards someone who is unkind or obnoxious. In order to do this we need Christ’s help. His spirit flows through us helping us to love better and more like him. 

This Agape, which is God’s love, is the reason that we are able to love others who have been cruel to us. This is not our own doing. It would be incredibly difficult to see someone with the eyes of God without his help!  It may be nearly impossible to love the same way Christ did, which is why I do not claim to have the solution to loving this way. I do not think that anyone can love perfectly like Him on our own. However though prayer, sacrifice, and small acts of kindness, we can try to love others the best that we know how. Jesus reminds us again and again how important it is to love. 

When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37, 39). These words really got me thinking about how I behave towards others in my own life. We are called to treat others the way we want to be treated. I encourage you to think of the ways in which you choose to love others like Christ. I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts on how you go about doing this. Feel free to share! 

Thank you so much for reading!

-Stephanie 

Image Source: http://www.reallifeathome.com/why-is-there-always-a-mean-girl/