In thinking about my view of others, it is appropriate that today’s writing in Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest coincides with my reading of Mark 9 and occurs the week before Easter. What I think and what I believe about another person is what creates my view of others. In relationships and life, believing is seeing.
My view of myself is the foundation of my view of others. If I see myself as a sinner forgiven by a loving God, I can have a healthy foundation or measure to start. As I grow in Christ and understand his new identity for me, this measure continues to increase in grace. This aspect of transformation grows out of an understanding that comes from a realization of something that has already happened to me, not out of something which will happen to me. All of my sins, even those I have yet to commit were forgiven on the cross. I was forgiven in advance. The power behind this required raising the dead. Jesus was dead. Now he isn’t. Only he can make things ‘not so.’
This same power that is transforming us, should be changing our views of others, but sometimes it takes a while for us to believe something new about ourselves and a little while longer to believe something new about others. Prejudices, judgmental thinking, views based on external appearances, age, skin color, sex, etc, we must die to all that is broken, ugly, and dark.
Sadly, we sometimes try to use the law to change this view, and it doesn’t work. We cannot simply stop thinking something. We must engage the power that raises the dead to change our view of others.
We must confess it to God, and another if appropriate, and bring it into the light. If we try to explain it away, we reveal that we are not really interested in being transformed. Self justification is never a path to transformation. So don’t glaze over your thoughts, rename them, or explain them beginning with ‘yes, but.’ Bring them out in the open and confess them.
We must use prayer and sometimes fasting. As in Mark 9, driving out deeply entrenched views is like driving out demons that can only be removed with prayer and fasting.
We must believe we can see others differently. Ask for help from Him who gives it.
As we understand ourselves as being perfect in Christ, as Chamber’s says in today’s reading, ‘say to yourself, ‘That man or that woman is perfect in Christ. That friend or relative is perfect in Christ.’
Wanting to change our view of others must be driven by our love for Him and our desire to be more like him. If we are part of a network or social group that reinforces a prejudice or unGodly idea, it may be time to remove ourselves from an environment which is working against the Holy Spirit and place ourselves beside others moving toward and believing in Him who has the power to raise the dead.