Seeing the Good in Everyone

It's easy to pick out people’s faults. We subconsciously keep track of all the flaws of all the people in our lives.

Whether someone is vain, self-centered, arrogant, petty, bitter, or obnoxious, we can easily slap a label on every person we meet. We see the faults of politicians, celebrities, and criminals, but we also know the flaws of people in our everyday lives, whether our family members, friends or co-workers...we've got them nailed.

It’s our nature to evaluate the person in front of us, to figure out if we can trust them or if we should be on our guard.

As Christians, God has instructed us to love people in our lives, but before we can do that, we have to see people as God sees people. God looks at people differently than we do. He sees the entire life history of that person and knows every thought, motive and feeling and how he/she has changed over time. Most importantly, He sees their hearts and soul.

We only see that person for a moment, but within microseconds still make judgments and criticisms against them based on nothing but our ignorance. We are always quick to stuff people into boxes and assign stereotypes to them. We always think we know everything.

Once we get in tune with the Holy Spirit and see people as God sees them, we can't help but start to understand them a little bit more, making it possible for us to empathize with them and bring God’s love, healing, and blessings to them.

Everyone is born an innocent loving child.

All babies are beautiful. People love to coo at a new baby because we recognize the wonder, innocence and love coming from them. Unfortunately as children grow older and become adults, they pick up all the imperfections we adults possess and that wonder and innocence may soon be lost.

And even though an adult may be hardened and cold because of the harshness of life...that child is still there. Pain, rejection and disappointment have stolen his/her innocence. Yet, that yearning for unconditional love never dies.

Innocence lost.

Growing up, each of us has had to come to terms with disappointment, abuse, ridicule, pain, abandonment, rejection and isolation. And each of us has reacted differently. Some of us have become stronger, while others have developed coping and defense mechanisms to make life easier.

Either way, we are no longer the innocent, trusting child we once were.

That tough guy who screams and argues all the time, might just want us to see a tough guy, so he can protect himself from being stepped on as he was when he was a kid.

Or that cold woman at work might just be cold because she has been hurt one too many times in the past and has decided it is better to keep people away before someone hurts her again.

So though, these traits may seem like character flaws, there is a reason they are protect the sensitive, innocent child.

We are all different, yet the same.

Each of us has had positive and negative people and events that have molded and made us who we are today, different from anyone else.

Some of us have taken the difficulties of life and bloomed with special talents and gifts. Others have turned inward, withdrawing from people and life altogether to avoid any further pain. Still others have expressed themselves with anger and lashing out, destroying themselves and those around them.

Unfortunately, we can never really understand anyone else, unless as the saying goes, "we've walked a mile in their shoes".

Each person has had to learn how to cope in this rough world. And when we begin to understand that about each person, then we can begin to care for them. Even though we are all different from each other, our hearts are the same. We all want friendship. We all want success. We all want a family. We all want love.

None of us wants judgment or criticism.

We are all trying to figure out our lives, struggling to make it work. We want and need to be cherished, respected, appreciated and understood.

Seeing the good in everyone.

Though we instinctively seek to find people’s faults, God asks us to see the good in them. Whether it is a mean old man,  a rebellious teenager, a cold-hearted criminal, a self-centered celebrity, or an arrogant politician…God asks us to see the good in them.

God wants us to understand that we are all just human, and we have to learn to love each other. Our natural reaction to find the bad in people and ostracize those who are not like us, is against God's plan for mankind. It always results in pain, fighting, anger, bias, and resentment. Always.

He is teaching us that there is always more to someone than meets the eye. He wants to show us that when we see the human side of everyone, we cannot help but learn to accept each other. When we see the good in people we start to have compassion and understanding and in so doing, start to treat each other the way we want to be treated: with honor, respect, dignity and a listening ear.

When we treat people according to our prejudices, this makes things worse for others and us. When we treat people like God wants us to treat people...EVERYONE changes.

That is why Jesus said to love and forgive our enemies. That is why Jesus supported all the outcasts that everyone else hated.
That is why He forgave the adulteress and the thief on the cross…because He saw the good in them and received them and their lives transformed.

There is so much we don’t know about a person, but we don’t have to know. We as Christians have to reach out and love those around us whether we know them or not, because everyone needs love, friendship and support.

Jesus’ healing Love

Jesus' love heals broken hearts, builds bridges, brings hope and changes everything.

When we see the good in everyone, we learn to respect and love each person we encounter. That love, friendship, and trust brings out the best in everyone. Dismissing, rejecting, ignoring and disrespecting a person bring out the worst in them…and us.

When we look for the good and treat each person with respect, we help that person blossom. Jesus’ love brings out the best in everyone. Jesus' love brings back the honesty, love and trust of the child we once were. Jesus’ love changes people's hearts. Jesus' love makes all the difference.

Try it and see.

When you encounter anyone, whether a new friend or an old enemy, look at them with new eyes. Understand that each person is struggling to make his/her life work. Understand that not everyone is the same and we really CAN'T SEE into anyone's heart. Understand that you don't know everything and every person deserves the same grace, forgiveness and love that God gives you.

Seek to show love to EVERYONE, with a smile, a greeting, a "thank you", an offer to help, a listening ear, an invitation for lunch, a phone call…and see how the love of Christ transforms them. Then see how the love of Christ transforms YOU.

© 2007 Edrick

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