Friday, April 8, 2011
In Anothers' Eyes
So, what about the other person in the same church building who saw me and thought I was a complete snob? (To my knowledge no one thought or thinks this, but I use it as an example) Who has the right perception, or are they both wrong? What did one see that the other didn't? Or, are both of them right? Could I be "on fire" for the Lord and be a snob too? Well, then we have to wonder what it means to be on fire for the Lord (or anything for that matter) and also what it means to be a snob. By whose definition of both "on fire" and "snob" are we going? For that matter, can anyone at all be accurately perceived by another? In my eyes my son is the most precious child in the world. A little boy in his class saw things differently last week. In my eyes, my husband is growing in the Lord by leaps and bounds. He doesn't attend the men's bible study at church regularly so is it possible that a regular attendee might see him as not as serious about his walk with God? In anothers' eyes, Sam's faith might be weak because he doesn't have multiple bible versus memorized by heart. Because I live with him and watch him everyday, in my eyes his faith is stronger than it has ever been. What is the point? The point is this -- how we're each perceived in anothers' eyes is always going to be lacking something. Only God can see the entirety of us.
I'm only 31 but that's old enough to have already been perceived in a number of ways - some good, some not so good. I try not to focus on the latter, but I don't think we can live our life without giving some consideration to the ways in which others perceive us. It becomes dangerous when we spend too much time considering the perception of others, but a minimal amount of time is usually inevitable. Ask yourself how you believe others perceive you. What do you come up with? Do you think people see you as "on fire" for the Lord? Do you think they see you as selfish? Do you think they see you as compassionate and understanding? Do you think they see you as boring or uninteresting? Spend about five minutes considering how others perceive you. Write down what you come up with and now spend about five more minutes considering how you perceive you. Are you selfless or selfish? Are you unloved or loved? Are you mistreated and misunderstood? Do others see you as important? Do you see yourself as important?
As you consider the ways in which others perceive you, you probably acknowledge that they aren't completely right if everything they think is bad. "Well, they don't know everything about me," we say. If everything they think is good, then I can assure you, they're still in the dark when it comes to everything about you. No single person on this earth can accurately perceive everything about another. Our perspective is and always will be limited regardless of how well we get to know someone. If one church member sees me in a positive light but Bob in the back of the room thinks I'm a snob for never saying "hi" then I can assure you, both members are only seeing part of a whole. At the end of the day, the only other eyes that matter besides our own are those of God's. He created each of us to be unique and only He can see everything that's inside of us, both good and bad. We can reveal what we want others to see and we can hide from them what we don't want them to see. On the other hand, we can hide nothing from God so doesn't it seem like how He sees us is the most important?