Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Do You See?

The Warming House
Hi friend. Glad you're here. If you've visited The Warming House before, you know by now that God has emblazoned the message of compassion across my heart. Actually, he's etched it in the depths. One of my purposes is to encourage people to consider a compassionate way of life because from my observations (and from research data compliled by the Barna Group) compassion has been lost in translation in the lives of many Christians today. That's a problem because 1) God is compassionate by nature and we're meant to be a reflection of him; 2) our apathy, inaction, anger, and judgment are turning far too many people away from Christ; and 3) there are far too many who suffer. Today's post is an excerpt from a book I've been working on. It asks some hard-hitting questions. If you have questions, feedback, something you'd like me to address here, or a story/ministry you'd like me to share on my blog, please post a comment. Thanks!

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” Zechariah 7:9-10

If a pregnant, unmarried teenage girl were to walk into your world, how would you see her?  Would you see her as someone who has low moral values?  Would you point your finger at her and whisper behind her back, “How did she get herself into that position?”  Or would you see her as someone who had a choice, and had the courage to choose life? 

If you were to encounter a homeless woman as you walk down the street, would you see her as a lowly non-entity?  Would you see her as someone who is irresponsible and has no ambition?  Would you see her destitute condition as being her own fault?  Would you even see her at all?  Would you turn your head and look the other way?  Or would you see her as someone who once had dreams that have now been broken by addictions she can’t overcome?  Would you see her as someone who has the same basic needs as you do for shelter, love, and friendship? Would you see her as a living, breathing human being who has feelings just like you? 



istockphoto


If a poor working father attended your church on Sunday morning, would you pass judgment on him because of his thrift store clothes and run-down car?  Would his poverty cause you to see him as a “loser”?  Would you make a point to greet him or would you turn your back?  Would you see the weariness in his eyes from working two jobs?  Would you see the sadness in his face because he can’t find a way to adequately provide for the family he dearly loves?


copyright Mike B. @ The Warming House


If you were to see the picture of a gang member on the news, would you feel fear?  Would you only see evil?  Or would you see the child he once was?  A child whose mother worked three jobs.  A child who was left alone day and night because there was no money for child care.  A child who has never met his father.  A child who had such a need for family that he settled for the only kind of family that presented itself – the sense of family found in a gang.

If you were to see Christ face-to-face in our world today, would you see him as a social outcast?  He was. Would you see him as a convicted criminal?  He was that too. Would you see him as a homeless person with no place to lay his head?  Would you look down on him because of his lack of material belongings and simple clothing?  Would you turn your head and look the other way?  Or would you see a man full of God’s love, wrongly accused, sacrificing everything for mankind?  Would you see the perfection and beauty? Would you see the mercy and grace?

Jesus whispers to us, “If you have room in your heart for me, then you need to make room in your heart for the least of these.”  How we see those in need defines our actions toward them.  He wants us to see others as He does. 

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36

God brings people into your life each day who need His touch . . . His love . . . His grace . . . His truth. Pray about your perception of people. Ask God to help you see people and situations through His eyes, not your own. Align your eyes, your thoughts, and your heart with His.

Warming the World Together,
Lisa

*This message is important. Please consider sharing it with someone you know.