When I was out walking the other day I came across a group of artists painting the view. I didn’t want to disturb them, so I made a detour and left them to it, though I was tempted to go and have a look at their efforts.
I’m quite sure that, although they were all looking at the same view, apart from one - and I’ll come to her later - every picture would have been different. Some might have focused on a small detail, some on the bigger picture, others might have seen colours differently from their neighbour, but every picture would have been individual, representing an aspect of the artist’s personality.
That got me to thinking how we see other people. So much depends on our backgrounds, and whether we’ve come from deep rejection, and therefore subconsciously expect everyone to reject us, or whether we’ve always been criticised, in which case we tend to look critically at the world and people around us. Our attitude towards others is often based on previous experience, and if that’s been poor, then our expectation when meeting others is poor too.
I remember reading of a group of people working together in an office, and they found one of their work colleagues difficult to get on with. Instead of rejecting and isolating him, they decided to make a conscious effort to be kind and loving towards him. Gradually, over the space of a few months, this man’s attitude totally changed, and he began to make friends with the group, and return the love that he’d been shown. They’d tried to look at him through God’s eyes, and had shown him God’s love. This had deeply affected him. God loves every one of us, and wants to have a relationship with us, and, through His love for us, we can reach out to others.
As to the lady painting on her own: well, she was working away in splendid isolation, and probably produced a stunning picture, but she’d chosen to isolate herself from the others. This is something we can easily do when we’ve been hurt. But God created us to be in fellowship with one another, to build each other up, and encourage one another, and to see our brothers and sisters as He sees all of us, through the lens of love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for tending to look at others with a critical, or negative, (put whatever adjective is right here) eye. I know that You love me completely, and that You love everyone in that way too. Please help me to see other people through Your eyes, and to show Your love to everyone I meet. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
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