We are back! Unfortunately I had to take last week off because of some renovations taking place at church after we took a direct hit from a lightning bolt. Shocking!
But through this experience the Lord has been showing me just how spoiled we tend to be. One of our major losses were our primary projectors in the Worship Center. To worship without words is really liberating! Christ will give us freedom in our worship if we merely allow Him to do so! In reality no written lyric could ever fully express what we have to say about God and what He has to say back to us! It’s the words in our hearts that we should be expressing in our worship to God anyways.
But… losing the ability to project lyrics still has thrown me a curve ball in the last couple weeks of worship planning. If you are like me you might think you have tons of songs and verses committed to memory… but how many of those are dependent on an aide like projection?
But… enough about me.
We left off right in the middle of our discussion about our need for vision realignment. To even think that any of us are without the need for the Lord to change our sight and heal our spiritual vision shows how blind we really are. In this installment of the “Recovering Eyes” series we will discuss how we should view other people. After all, to merely see ourselves the way God sees us and to continue viewing others with misguided vision is to only complete half the process.
To have the eyes of Jesus means that our view of people must be transformed and we must begin to see people as God sees them. So… how should we be “seeing” others. Let’s think together.
- As People… not Projects.
Many investors say to invest in people and not projects. Projects can be successes or failures. Projects typically have an end date. Our relationships hopefully don’t have these same criteria.
As a young believer I did my best to be a “missionary” friend and develop relationships with the goal of leading the other person to Christ. Which is a great starting point! But… what tends to happen is we have then viewed that person from the beginning as a “project” and removed any personal value from them in our eyes and minds.
Every person has value… every project does not.
When developing relationships what is our purpose? Do we seek people out based off what they can offer us and our ministry, or based off of who they are as a person. Are they just another check on our “treasure sheet” for Heaven or are we seeing them like God sees them… as valuable?
You see… the investment in people is demonstrated for us in the nature of God and the sending of His Son. Jesus came speaking our language, meeting us in our reality. He became one of us without any strings attached. If that is what it means for us to be like Jesus then we need to make that our goal. To develop “no strings attached” relationships that meet people where they are.
God says that as believers, we are to value everybody. When we look around at people we must see them as God sees them, as people worth our time and effort. God sent his Son to die for them, and they do matter.
We must treat people as people, not projects.
- As a Current or Future Ministry Partner
One way we can insure that we are viewing people accurately is to put them in their rightful place as our equals and partners in ministry. You may be saying, “Tanner, how can a non-believer be viewed in that way?” My response would be to treat them in that way and live like Christ in front of them in hopes that they are currently just a “future” partner in ministry.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says,
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
We must support each other! It isn’t a competition. How often do we catch ourselves pursuing success, even in good areas, at the expense of others or at the cost of ignoring others? We are building Gods kingdom based off of His successes so we should desire for others to capture success in their life and ministry.
In 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 Paul says,
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Paul hits the nail on the head when he begins to call out the misinterpreted thinking that pushes Believers into competition with each other. He makes clear that they aren’t spiritual at all, since their behavior is being determined by competition for status rather than by the Gospel. Do we see that now?
How have we been a part of it?
Of course, we should recognize something of ourselves in the actions of these Corinthians. Our congregations can become divided and distracted by old allegiances, former ways of doing things, and by old fights. I believe that we naturally think that those things need to define us.
Let’s fight this cultural sense of competition that drives every aspect of our lives! Those around us aren’t our competitors or enemies… instead they are our current and potential future ministry partners.
Romans 15:1-2 says,
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
- As Covered by the Blood of Jesus
We all have had encounters with people that are difficult to love. But to God we too have been difficult to love. In fact, we were so difficult to love that a blood sacrifice had to be made on our behalf as reconciliation for our shortcomings and rebellion against God’s perfection.
Romans 3:23-25 says,
Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a mercy seat by his blood, effective through faith.
God didn’t leave us in an unlovable state! God provided us a way to be loved!
Ephesians 1:7 says,
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
God now views us as covered, in order that we may be loved. So… in order to see like Jesus we have to view others as covered as well. In fact, we are commanded to reciprocate the love that He pours out onto us to others.
John 15:12 says,
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Matthew 7:12 says,
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Luke 6:31 says,
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
God sees us this way, always looking for the positive in us and wants us to see others the same way. At times people will disappoint us, they will aggravate us, they will press our buttons and fall short… but we are to see them as covered and simply love.
Let’s commit ourselves to viewing others like Jesus views them.
Romans 12:10 says,
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.