We are constantly filling our world with our perceptions. The things and people around us take on the meaning we give them.
By Jonathan Futch
Let me share an old proverb with you about how we sometimes see things:
Two men looked out through prison bars,
One saw mud, the other stars.
Perhaps you've heard it said that our eyes are the windows of our soul. Jesus spoke about in another way:
The light of the body is the eye; if then your eye is true, all your body
will be full of light. But, if your eye is evil, all of your body will be dark.
If then the light which is in you is dark, how dark it will be! (Matthew 6:22-23)
When we look through a window, we usually think that what we see is filling our eyes. We generally feel the same way as we look around us at the many different things and people that make up our world.
In reality, however, the very opposite is true. We are constantly filling our world with our perceptions. The things and people around us take on the meaning we give them...by the way we see them
Vision comes from within us. A bright and beautiful day will be to us like a gray and somber day, if that is the way we see it. Our vision is clouded by our judgement, and our judgement is prejudiced by the way we feel...about ourselves, about others, about God. What is seen through our eyes is first defined by what comes out of our heart.
In Matthew 15, Jesus tells us that it is not what goes into us that brings us shame and trouble, but what comes out of us. We are not the victims of our environment; instead, we are the product of our faith!
It is with our heart that we truly see. If our heart is full of darkness...discouragement, despair, rejection, envy, lust, pride...then, that is how we will view the things and people in our world.
If, on the other hand, our heart is filled with light...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, goodness, trust, humility, self-control...then, we will see everyone and everything in that light.
Jesus is the light of the world...the only true light by which we can really see. Only as He fills our heart and shines through our eyes are we able to see anything at all, clearly. His view of things and people is the only real view. Any other way of seeing is simply like trying to catch a shadow.
That is why we have been told to give thanks in everything and to love everyone (friends, neighbors, enemies...).
We see the shadow, He sees the soul. We see the ashes, He sees the beauty.
We see the sinner, He sees the forgiven. We see the wrong, He sees the love.
What is your world view? When you open your eyes and look around, do you see a world of death and destruction, or do you see a field of life ready to be harvested?
Our world is a field of souls. Souls for whom Jesus died. Souls for whom Jesus lives. A world of people...each one and everyone...that Jesus loves. Do we see them as He does? Do we love them as He does?
Again, we hear Jesus speaking to us,
"Be at peace. As the Father sent me, so send I you!"
Today, is a beautiful day…isn’t it?
Jonathan Futch is the director of Mercy Cares Ministries, a network of churches and ministries around the world specializing persecuted peoples