Looking Through His Eyes
November 11, 2020
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10:34-35 NLT
If you were raised in what we would call conservative American Christianity, you have much in common with Peter. Both you and Peter have had favorites: people you could pretty much tell by looking at them that they were “your kind,” and others who would make you mentally roll your eyes when you saw them. It never crossed your mind that your distaste, disgust, and rejection of these people was sinful, because “everyone knew” that God agreed with you. I remember when I was a very young child and John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic running for president. I recall friendships that were broken over that election, because many Christians thought it was evident—Catholics are not real Christians, and therefore he could not possibly be a candidate for president.
I am sure you can think of your own examples, and many of them cause you to laugh or shake your head a bit today. Hopefully, you have grown and changed. But there’s more. Think for a moment. What group of people do you see through a filter? When you hear “He’s a _________” or see the way she dresses, do you put that person in a category? Honesty would compel most everyone of us to own that we do have a mental sorting machine that goes to work automatically in our minds.
Peter had an experience God engineered to teach him that he could not reject people in that way. God told Peter to go serve a Gentile, and Peter had never set foot in a Gentile home his entire life. He believed it would compromise him. God said very plainly to him, “This Gentile man is my loved creation, just as much as you are. You don’t get to reject him.”
Peter got it. He saw very clearly that the standard he had been taught was not the lens through which God saw people, and He expected Peter to see differently as well.
What did you grow up believing about people? Be willing to surrender your “standards” to God and have no favorites. You can’t truly represent Him until your preferential standards are gone.
- Pray: Jesus, I play favorites. I know I do, and I know that is not like You. Help me see this world through Your eyes—a world for which You died. As the song says, “If once I could see this world the way You see, I know I’d serve You more faithfully.” Amen.