Seeing People How God Sees Them
“Ideas have consequences,” said Catholic theologian George Weigel, “and bad ideas can have lethal consequences.”
One of those “bad ideas,” prominent in our culture, is that people are mere biological machines, the accidental products of chance, and therefore have no more value than the rest of the animal world.
That idea certainly has had lethal consequences – one’s worth pondering.
· Based on Genesis 1:27, why is that viewpoint misguided?
· According to Scripture, what sets us apart from the animal world? Why does that give us special value and worth?
· When this value is ignored, what kinds of “lethal consequences” can result?
· Could the Holocaust have happened if those behind it had acknowledged that all people are created in the image of God? What about the European and American slave trades? Current racial tensions? The prevalence of abortion? Ongoing poverty and homelessness?
· How might these examples have played out differently if those involved recognized the high value God places on every living human being, regardless of age, race, gender, or health?
A pastor serving in a needy part of Washington, DC, wanted to capture more of God’s vision for the people around him. So he fasted and prayed over a thirty-day period, asking God to change him. He reported that a couple weeks in nothing seemed to be happening. But then, as he entered the third and fourth weeks of his prayer journey, something started to change. He began seeing prostitutes on street corners, homeless people begging for money, and everyone else he encountered as men and women who were created in God’s image. With fresh awareness he knew they are valuable, worthy of love and respect, and of our best efforts to help them – and to lead them to faith in Christ.
· What practical step could you take this week to begin seeing people more in the way God sees them?