Yesterday I heard an amazing message from the Student Director at NewSpring Church, Brad Cooper. In his message, he presented two questions that I believe everyone wrestles with. I believe if we could grasp the truth to these questions our lives and the lives of others around us would be drastically changed.
Question #1: How does God see me?
Many of us believe that because of our past, because of our mistakes, or because of our sin; God sees us as unrighteous, unworthy, or undeserving of His love. The truth is God’s love toward us is not based on our performance but rather on our position as His son or daughter. If you are in Christ, when God looks at you He sees Jesus and therefore sees you as righteous, spotless, and clean in His sight. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17-19:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Because of Jesus, God does not see our past anymore. He does not see our mistakes anymore. He does not see our sin anymore. Be confident that you are priceless and complete in God’s sight.
Question #2: How do we see others?
This is a tough one because of our natural human inclination to view others the way everyone else sees them. In the same passage to the Corinthians, Paul explains how we should view others. This is what he writes:
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:14-16 ESV)
In other words because of the love of Christ, we see people the way God sees them. There is a familiar passage in the Bible where the religious leaders catch this woman in the act of adultery. You know the story. They bring her to Jesus, waiting for His judgement, ready to stone her to death for what she has done. Jesus’ response to them is not normal. He does not condemn the woman, as did the religious leaders, but rather clears her of her guilt and shame. He does not throw stones but rather shows mercy.
When you see others, are you condemning or are you clearing? Are you throwing sticks and stones or are you showing mercy and grace? Are you pushing them down or are you picking them up? Start seeing the people around you the way God sees them.