By Brooke Holt
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
How do you describe your family and friends? I just had lunch with a new friend. As I walked away from our time together, I was thinking about how lovely she is in every way. Her love for the Lord encouraged me; her excitement and zeal breathed life into me; and her sweet spirit ministered to me.
Paul experienced similar feelings towards his brothers and sisters in Thessalonica. In just three weeks, Paul was deeply blessed by their reception of the Gospel message. They did not just hear God’s word but believed it. Paul witnessed their lives being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who came to dwell within them. Even though they were new believers, Paul knew these people were now his Christian brothers and sisters. More importantly, Paul was certain they were people whom God knew and loved.
Is that how you view the people who attend church with you? Is it how you view people who attend other churches? Do you look into the eyes of each person and recognize he or she is perfectly loved by God? No matter how different they are from you, each person is made in God’s image. He or she is God’s design and his delight. You may not think he is smart enough or she is not fun to be around; yet your judgements do not change the truth of who that person is – the beloved child of God.
What would it look like for you to suspend your judgements of people and ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see as the Lord sees? What if everyone practiced this? Can you imagine how much more peaceful and enjoyable our church gatherings would be, how much more we could love one another and appreciate the unique perspectives and gifts that each person brought? Beyond the church, if Christians would seek to see the world as God sees it, to bring light, joy, and grace. Can you imagine how much different our workplaces may be? Maybe even the government could operate with more grace and dignity instead of vying for power.
Love and respect are gifts you can give to the people in your life. This happens as you release the worldly ways of judging and embrace a godly way of seeing people. The Holy Spirit can and will help you implement this perspective. Call on him today, cooperate with him, and keep practicing looking through godly lenses.
How do you see God’s people and how might the Lord want to change your perspective today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Awaken the awe and the wonder of Advent! “The King Is Coming” is a 4-week Advent devotional especially written with a child’s heart in mind. It takes families through the salvation story by focusing on who God is, the gift of Jesus, and the importance of celebrating and sharing that miraculous gift! Bring your family together this Advent season for a journey exploring God’s big love for you.
See all of our Advent Devotionals/Studies here.
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