Monday, February 21, 2011

A Change of View

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view."  2 Corinthians 5:16

What do you think when you look at people?  In general, when you're observing a group of people, what are you observing for?  Think about that for a minute. Think about spending time at a mall or at a park in the summer, or out at a festival with all kinds of people milling around.  What do you think when you see someone a little unusual? You think about those unusual characteristics don't you?  You may even comment on it to your traveling companions.   When you see people in this way, you're seeing them with worldly eyes, and using a worldly mind to think about them and compare them to what you consider "normal".

Except that we don't have worldly eyes anymore, and we don't have a worldly mind anymore.

"For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.' " 1 Corinthians 2:16

We have the mind of Christ. I think it's time that the Body of Christ change their view and start using the mind that Jesus gave us when He became a part of our lives.  The mind of Christ was a mind that loved people.  He loved the multitudes that followed Him, He had compassion for them and when they came to Him with issues, He healed them- full of love for their very being.

And then there's us.  We see someone strange or different and we move to the other side of the aisle, away from what we are not familiar with.  If Jesus walked with us, He would walk alongside that different person... and yet, Jesus IS with us, so what's going on here?  I think we're still using worldly eyes and worldly minds to view those around us.  But I also think that things are changing and that God is waking up His people to see all the suffering that is going on around us.

You want a good place to go and see some unusual people?  You should try going to your city library in the middle of the work and school day.  Many of the people there at that time simply have no place else to be- so they spend hours a day at the library, reading magazines, books, connecting with people, and sometimes just being inside someplace warm when they have no place else to go.  This last week when we were at the library for our weekly outing, there was a group of disabled teenagers there.  Kids who, when you walked past them looked perfectly normal, but when they started talking or interacting with each other, it was very clear that they had some mental challenges.  And as I walked past one kid in particular, I looked at him and I saw a nice-looking young man with pain behind his eyes.  He was trying to learn to read with a tutor, and you could tell that things just weren't going well at all, and he was struggling.  My heart hurt for him, and I actually got a little angry- why are there people like this?  Why on earth are there people whose minds don't work correctly, and so they must go through life as a challenge for everyone around them.  Why didn't God intervene as this child was formed and make their minds the right way?

I certainly don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know this, that God deeply loves that young man I saw- and all of his colleagues as well.  God loves every single one of them, and maybe one of the reasons there are people like them is so that someday, when we find ourselves moved with compassion, we can reach out to them, pray for them, and see God deliver them of their afflictions.  Imagine that! Imagine praying for a busload of LD students, and when they return to school later that day they are all speaking and behaving like normal teenagers.   Think about the joy in their household when they return home later on- and all the glory would go to God!  God didn't put disease and mental issues on the planet, his enemy did, but we all know that God can use EVERYTHING for good.  God can take what the devil meant to destroy someone and use it for His Glory.  That's just cool.

So what can we do when we catch ourselves looking around us and using our worldly eyes and minds?  We can recite scripture to ourselves.  We can remind ourselves that we have the mind of Christ, and start looking around us with those Christ-colored glasses.  Do you know what color those glasses are?  They're love colored.   Let's all purpose to put on those love-colored glasses and see what it is that God really wants us to see.  It's time to change our view.

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