Inside Out

When you look at another person, what do you see? Do you see a person that is tall, short, overweight, underweight, beautiful, not beautiful, old, young? Think about this with honesty for a moment. We often look at the exterior, for we cannot see inside someone, yet Scripture tells us that we are not to view people from the flesh, from the natural man, but to see them spiritually. That doesn’t mean that everyone we meet is spiritual, but rather our view of them should be evaluated from a spiritual standpoint. Let’s look at scripture: “From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-18  These verses are from two perspectives. One, is how we view others, and the next is how we are to see ourselves from the same spiritual perspective.  If we are born again, we are new people, with a new way of looking at things, yet so often we still view others from a purely fleshly view. But aren’t we supposed to look at others from lens that have been made new, and to see others the way that Christ sees them. This means that everyone we meet, we look at from a spiritual perspective, instead of a fleshly one. Look again! “From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way.”  This is addressed to the believer and how the believer sees other people. So to the man who cuts us off because of road rage, imagine, instead of disdain for him, try to view why this person is so angry.  I’m not suggesting that we should excuse bad behavior, and neither is scripture. But it’s a matter of how we see others. We know that certain behaviors are wrong, but how often do we judge the person based on the behavior, instead of trying to understand the heart. That’s not accepting the behavior, but still caring for the soul of the one exhibiting that behavior. After all, what is our behavior that we should always get a pass?  I don’t know about you, but I certainly cannot beat my chest and proclaim my constant innocence before God. As I learn to understand the pull of the flesh even on me, I begin to understand the God who constantly is by my side, and speaking through the Spirit to my soul. He is constantly letting me know of His great love for me, even when I do things or say things, or even think things that do not honor Him. So I come to realize that if I am a new creature, I want to live by the faith that is in me, through Christ our Lord. In doing so, I draw closer to the One who sets me free from this pull of the flesh. I know that others will be set free, if only they will believe.  I also thank God for those who constantly prayed for my soul, when I was without Christ, for I now realize that it was their prayers that brought me to Him. So perhaps our mission is to surrender our thinking, our old ways, our judgments, and our preconceptions of others, and look to the heart of the wounded soul.  Maybe we should start praying instead of judging, and perhaps the urgent request  of a righteous person is very powerful in it effect, and will save yet, another soul. So the charge today is think about the person you are looking at when you go to the store, to work, to school. Are you seeing what Christ sees, or the world sees?  Then pray that the Lord will give your new heart compassion for the one you find yourself evaluating from the flesh. Pastor Andy

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