Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
(John 7:24, ESV)
I couldn't figure out the other day why I could not see clearly. My eyes were not hurting. They were not irritated. Even after putting a lot of saline solution in my eyes, I still could not see clearly. It wasn't too bad. Besides, nothing was hurting me, so I went about my day with this impediment of slightly blurred vision. It was not until that evening when I was getting ready to go to bed that I discovered what had been the matter. I gently pinched my right eye to remove my contact and behold! There were two contacts in my right eye! I stood there for a moment wondering how I could so carelessly put two contacts in that eye. How did that happen? Where did I get a third contact? I still have no idea how this happened or from where the other contact came. Could it have been in my eye all along and I didn't even realize it?
If you wear glasses or contacts, then you know what it is like to have blurred vision. Some people have worse vision than others, but all of us who use corrective lenses know what it is like to have blurred vision.
As I thought about this over the next day or two, I couldn't help but think about other areas in my life that are "blurry." Not necessarily my vision, but where am I in need of corrective lenses? Does my mind get "blurry" at times with anxiety and fear? Does my heart get "blurry" with selfishness and greed? Do my actions need the help of "corrective lenses" to refocus my purpose upon God once again?
I can't speak for you, but for me, I need "corrective lenses" to adjust and correct my judgment of others. "Forgive me, Lord, when I judge my fellow brothers and sisters based upon appearances!" Have you ever prayed that? Jesus warns us to not judge others (not only Christians, but everyone) according to our own reasoning, our own discretion, or our own opinion. It is like looking at people with blurred vision. Our blurred vision of people distorts our opinion of them, and we find ourselves judging them based upon these distortions. When I was doing missionary work in inner city Philadelphia, our mentor told us to look past what we may see and see Christ in everyone. Seeing the image of God in every person becomes for us our corrective lens!
Martin Luther wrote, "No one views his neighbor with clear eyes except the Christian, whose sight is bright and pure. He looks upon his enemies with the eyes of mercy and compassion, and wishes them no evil. Even when his enemy is wroth and angry with him ... he feels compassion for him and would gladly see him saved" (Luther's Works, Vol 23, Page 241). Seeing people with vision that is "bright and pure" only comes from seeing the Image of God in everyone.
Join me today as I start seeing the Image of God in all people.