I was driving to meet a friend for lunch the other day when I passed a man on an overpass at the side of the road. He held up a piece of lumber with one word written on it. “Jump?” Being the type of person I am, my first thought was “What the… Why is he asking people if they want to jump off the overpass?” Within seconds, I realized his hood was up, and he needed someone to charge his battery. Pretty obvious, but that’s not how my mind of mystery and suspense works.
Is your mind warped also? Do you only see the negative? Maybe not the weird way mine does, but I’ll guarantee you allow your past, your current situation, and your life experiences to cloud how you think about things. How many of you have a hard time with God the Father because your earthly father was not a good one? How many of you automatically believe someone arrested is guilty? All these perceptions come from past experiences. Sure, most people arrested are guilty. But some are not. It’s been proven by DNA several times. Yet, it doesn’t stop us from believing if someone is arrested, they did something wrong.
As Christians, we should look at the world through the word of God, not through the eyes of experience. The Lord said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” A lot of nice looking people fooled others by the way they looked until Ted Bundy came along and taught us that evil can come in a nice package.
We shouldn’t see the homeless guy on the street as someone who needs a bath and will only use our money for alcohol. Instead, we should see him as a man who needs help. And that man arrested has a family. How about showing them compassion in your on-line remarks even if you feel he’s guilty?
The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them; your response to them is an awareness of you. – Roy T. Bennett, author
We need to not allow our past or our experiences to give us a negative perception of things. Jesus was all about compassion and grace. If we want the heart of Jesus, we should hold kindness in our hearts as well.
The more we practice grace, the more we’ll see the good in others and in situations. Maybe next time, I’ll pay more attention and actually stop to help someone in need instead of allowing my fiction mind to take over.
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