DAY FIVE: Seeing People (And Yourself) As God Does
The ultimate expression of how deeply I really do love God is based on how I interact with other people. In other words, the Scripture says that in fact I am to love my neighbor as myself. Who is my neighbor?
Your neighbor includes the person that you don’t like; the person that you have nothing in common with; the person that sees things completely different than you do; the person that is of a different culture, ethnicity, or belief system; the person that you fear; the person that you stereotype; the person that you disrespect; the person that you consider your mortal enemy!
The underlying problem that keeps us from loving others is that we fear that God sees us the way we see ourselves. It’s the fear that the way I feel about myself—the way that I am aware of all my frailties and failings—is how God sees me. This fear keeps people out of the prayer closet. It keeps their relationship with God somewhat at a distance because all they see is how far they have fallen short of the glory of God.
I have good news for you that will set you free. First John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Before you knew God, He loved you. God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
Our old nature, the one where no good thing exists, was crucified with Christ on the cross. You now have a new nature re-created in Christ. It is this new nature that you are to love.
When you understand how much God loves you, then you are able to show that same love to everyone you encounter. That means you see each person as God sees you. That means you accept each person as God has accepted you.