How do you look at people? Not just people you know, but those who you pass on a daily basis that may not look a lot like you. How we choose to do this is a great reflection of where our walk with Christ is.
I heard a great sermon today and in it the phrase "Looking at folks through God's eyes is looking through the lens of love." Our eyes? Often not so much like God's. We pre-judge, hold grudges, don't like those who do not agree with us, and will not stop to help those who look like they should be helping themselves. Many of us are still living in the Old Testament, which is named that because it is old but it is our background of faith for reference.
For example it is no longer an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, it is love your enemies, and walk an extra mile with an adversary. It is love where it used to be hate, it is forgiveness when it used to be punishment, it is grace when it used to be stoning. Somehow we have not chosen to learn the new covenant we just like to live in the old because it is easier to point fingers, judge others and stay angry.
That is not how our vision is supposed to be. The lens of God's love has mercy on those who do not deserve mercy, it has encouragement for those who are discouraged, and healing for those who are addicted even by their own personal choices. If we were ALL not sinners, Christ would have no need to die for us, but he did, because we are all in need of forgiveness and restoration.
Next time you pass a homeless person and say why don't you get a job, send him or her to us, we know which lens to look at them through!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.