March 21, 2016
Boring. What a terrible word! Who wants to be called boring? Avoiding boredom or boring people is the goal of many of our activities. We like to spice things up, inject some excitement, change our hairstyle, plan a trip, go back to school, try a new restaurant, repaint a room, get a new girlfriend, quit the job, move to southern California. Then there are dysfunctional options like getting high, eating another cookie, watching some porn, or agitating a loved one.
Even though we often try to escape boredom, we are naturally attracted to the elements of sameness and routine, while resisting all that is different. We like to go the same places for vacation, eat or drink the “usual” when we go to a restaurant, wear a certain style of clothes all the time, drive the same route to work. We rarely enjoy having others, or God, throw curveballs into any area of life.
We tend to marry and congregate with people who are like us … the same color, culture, political party, religious belief, social level, or income bracket. We tend to mistrust, resist, and even fear, judge, criticize, look down on or ridicule anyone who is different.
People often judge others by what is seen on the outside. We lump everyone from a particular racial or cultural group into one basket. We shun one another and, at times, even war against each other based solely on racial identity. How sad is that?
You see, because of our fallen state, several character traits lead to these ungodly reactions. We have a number of inadequacies and insecurities inside of us. We compensate for them by falsely elevating ourselves as we put others down. We often fear what we don’t understand. So instead of trying to understand it, we avoid it and label it inferior to us. Because we are psychologically lazy, our willingness to understand others more fully, or to take time to get to know them, is not our natural inclination.
Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t ever see us that way? He loves us regardless of our race or culture, appearance or activities, career or income, deeds or mistakes. He searches every heart. He is interested in what’s inside. He visited and hung out with all kinds of people … always looking deeper … looking beyond the surface. Why? Because He always starts with love.
Today, examine what you see first when you engage with another person. Do you see their need for a relationship with God? What makes you tentative about loving them fully? Ask Jesus to help you search other people’s hearts and see them through God’s eyes … as God’s creation … designed in His image. Jesus gave His life for people of all races and cultures. He sees everyone through eyes of love and compassion. He looks beyond faults to needs. Whether you let go of your prejudices and see others as Jesus does, or you look through insecure, judgmental lenses is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Help me to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Reveal to me any prejudices I may have hidden in my heart. Forgive me and help me to let go of those prejudices and the walls they create. Help me to stop looking at the outside and to look more deeply into their lives. Help me to have healthy boundaries. Remembering that loving them doesn’t mean giving them everything they want. Help me develop eyes that see the healthiest way to love those You bring into my path each day. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who searches all hearts, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9