Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seeing Yourself As Others See You

We see ourselves differently than others see us. If we saw ourselves as others see us we might be embarrassed. We might not even like what we see. A popular talk show host suggested setting up a video recorder by the dinner table and letting it roll for several days. He said that if you watched it you’d be amazed and would probably make an effort to change some of your habits.

It’s important for us to realize that what people see is not necessarily what we think they’re seeing. It would be enormously helpful if we were to have an awareness of how we come across to others.

Not that we should be full of ourselves. In fact, I think one of the reasons we’re so unaware of how we come across is that we are so absorbed in ourselves. This is a dangerous way to live. Jesus shows us that the danger is not only real but also eternal—He says in John 8:34, “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”

You know how we see in others unkindness or simply immaturity? Odds are, people are seeing the same things in us. Do we really see ourselves for what we are? As slaves to sin?

Jesus shows us who we really are. But then He does something important—He shows us Himself. He shows us His sacrifice for our sin. He shows us His mercy in dying for our guilt, our selfishness, our actions that are much worse than we at times see them for.

He shows us this especially so that we can see ourselves as He sees us. And how is that? Jesus also said: “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Yes, we’re slaves to sin, but He has set us free! We are sons in the household of God! We are part of His family forever.

As children in the household of God we are going to be living with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And you know how siblings get along! They’re not always acting in the way they should toward each other.

But we have been set free from acting in accord with our sinful flesh. We have forgiveness. Not only from Christ but forgiveness that we can give to each other.

Then we will not only see each other as fellow human beings but as brothers and sisters in Christ. Then others will actually see Christ in us.

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