Joy or sorrow. Happy or sad. Those seem to be the stance that most people take as they look at the people around them, but what I want to draw out attention to today is the fact that God is the one who ought to set our feelings as well as our faith.
Too often we allow others to determine how we feel about ourselves and about life. Take this a step further and notice that when we are not feeling good that taking our feelings out on others through our words or our actions is not a good thing. When we aren’t happy with ourselves, it is easy to let that determine how we treat others.
1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
… The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Jesus told us that some people will try to remove a small sin from another person’s life before removing the big sin from their own life. That’s a bad deal. By focusing on others we are drawn away from looking at ourselves. God’s desire is to change our heart and not our habits. His love for us changes us from the inside out.
We have to be so careful that we check our motives and the reason why we judge or treat others in certain ways. Do we try to look good to others when we simply don’t like ourselves at that point.
Matthew 23:26 NLT
You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
The mask that we wear and masking our feelings doesn’t help our faith at all. Jesus said that we are fake when we don’t start with the inside. What I believe Jesus meant by this, at least a part of it, is that how we look at others is dictated by the way we thin about ourselves. Often our thinking is wrong, twisted, messed up and selfish.
Luke 6:37 NLT
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.
By forgiving and accepting others we begin to look more and more like Jesus. When we accept others, we begin to get honest about and accept ourselves.
It bothers me greatly when I see people, even myself, treating others poorly because of the pain that is in their lives, in their mind and deep in their heart. What I see is not what God sees. Therefore it is time to live by faith and love people the way God loves them.