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A big thanks to all of the lovely contributors that helped make this summer break possible!
Viewing People As God Does
One evening, while standing on top of a parking deck, I was prompted to look all around at the bustling people of downtown Greensboro. Office buildings, cars driving by, people waiting for the bus. There are people everywhere. I don’t know them, they don’t know me. But there they are, going about their business.
I began to wonder at the thought of how many people there were – and potentially could be – within my limited line of vision.
I was asked, “How do we view people?”
This thought struck a chord.
Oftentimes we view people (especially those with whom we aren’t familiar) through a lens of physical judgment. We base our opinions of people – and, therefore, our levels of appreciation and respect – on what they look, dress, sound, or act like. We narrow-minded humans can only seem to value others based on our view of them. We are quick to judge and to label.
This particular evening, I was inspired to view people in a much deeper sense.
I viewed each person I could see (and those in office buildings, I imagined) through God-lenses. I wondered what thoughts were going through their mind, what emotions they were feeling, and if they had joyful or broken hearts. What they were dealing with and what they were working towards. Heartbreakingly so, the question of the destination of their souls arose.
“Every name has a soul, every soul has a name.” –Dr. Jim Stagg
When we view people through our sinful lenses, they become worth what we feel they are worth. We often feel this way ourselves. We find our worth in what other people see in us – not who God created us to be.
So, how do we view ourselves?
Feeling valued plays an extensive role in our lives. People have started to find their value, worth, purpose, and identity in what they have accomplished in life, and what people say about them. We tend to find our worth in our title and job description. Those who attend college identify as students. Those who are parents identify as parents. Those who work in the corporate world identify with their job position – secretary, CEO, etc.
We find our worth in how good we are. Straight A student vs. a student who scrapes by on C’s. Those of us with a larger paycheck vs those who work a number of part-time jobs. How many followers we have on social media or the number of likes we get on our content.
This logic that we use to define our worth is flawed and misguided, a tool used by the enemy, Satan.
The Bible has a lot to say about our worth in Christ! Maybe you feel like you’re a mistake, or you know someone who does. But, my friends, if you feel you are a mistake, then you are saying that God has made a mistake – which is impossible!
“For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.”
-Psalm 139:13, 14
If you’re afraid that this is outdated because it’s in the Old Testament, I must caution you against that dangerous kind of thinking.
However, your worth is talked about in the New Testament, as well.
“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
-Luke 12:6, 7
Everyone has been made uniquely and with purpose in God’s eyes. Everyone has a soul. Everyone matters. You don’t matter because of the words I am telling you, you matter because of the sacrifice that was made for you by Jesus Christ on the Cross. I do not have all the answers about for what purpose God created you, aside from for His glory.
Imagine, we have been created in the image of God, the One who is perfect! He made you, every curve, dimple, and mole. Embrace who you are in Christ!
You may think you are worthless because of your past. But, take heart!
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!”
-2 Corinthians 5:17
But if no one tells the lost and lonely about the Good News, then how will they find their true worth? They will remain searching, hopelessly, among the dead-ends of this world. A relationship that is abusive, where they remain because they feel no one else could “love” them. Addicted to alcohol or drugs, because they think it will take them outside of their tormented minds – but only temporarily. Working themselves into the ground, for their mind is set on promotions and their income determines their value as a human being.
Maybe they feel worthless because they are different from other people around them. What they see in the media as being “ideal”, they strive for. A worldly interpretation of perfection that is wildly in and of itself, imperfect.
Who knows, they could have come in contact with Christians who made them feel as if they were not good enough for church, or even Jesus. There was a church who turned their back on someone in their time of need. There was someone who proclaimed loudly that they were a Christian, yet they didn’t treat others with love and respect. Or they didn’t tell someone about the Good News and the love of Jesus because they were different from them.
How can the lost and lonely find their true worth in Jesus, if we treat them so differently? If we treat them like they aren’t good enough for Christ?
Jesus is for everyone. He is for you, He is for me. He is for every color, every age, every background. He has the power to change hearts, we do not. So why do we try to change people before they meet Jesus? If it is such a turnoff to the Gospel, why do we persist so aggressively?
Changing people is not our job.
Showing them the Good News through our words, lifestyles, and attitudes, is.
How do you view people?
Acts 10:34 – “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism.”
The context of this verse is extremely important in our understanding this issue of God favoring one person over the other.
This verse is a quote from Peter, a Jew and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. During this time period, the Jews still held onto the mindset of being God’s chosen people – which they were – but that God was only for them. When Jesus walked the earth as 100% God and 100% man, He paved the way for the new mindset: God, and therefore the Gospel, is for everyone. Jew or Gentile. Peter was learning this lesson on a day filled with visions from the Lord, an officer in the Roman Army named Cornelius, and God breaking down the barriers of nationality. It was not only natural for a Jew to dislike a Roman officer, but even against traditional Jewish custom!
Cornelius was a leader, a God-fearing man, and a Gentile. He had an obvious respect and fear of God, but he didn’t have the Gospel – the Good News. God used Cornelius in Peter’s life, to break down the aforementioned barriers, and He used Peter in Cornelius’ life to tell him the Good News.
The whole story can be found in Acts chapter 10!
I challenge you today to view people differently. To view them as individuals who are different, fearfully and wonderfully made, and in need of Jesus.
Born and raised in a small, southern town, Sarah loves calling North Carolina home. Saved by Grace, and passionate about helping others find boldness. Though she is often at home working on her blog, she enjoys exploring new places – England is next on the list! Flannels, coffee, mountains, and deep conversations are essentials.
You can connect with her through her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Ephesians 2:10 is also a great verse on our worth in Christ:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.