Like Huckleberry Hound, I get my nose on a scent and I will exhaust myself in the search for crime and compromise. The obvious problem is that my sleuthing usually only leads to vain imaginations.
Once the image is in place, I become victim to the tyranny of the monster my mind has created.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” My soul delights in knowing that when God looks upon me, He sees the true me. The me hidden in Christ who is holy and blameless. God sees me through His eyes of love and grace. He sees me as my best me…the me He knows I’ll one day be when He has completed the work He has authored and is perfecting in Christ.
Conversely, when I look upon an adversary or someone who has hurt me, I see them through my eyes of conviction and contempt. I see them as their worst self.
Today the Lord prompted me to read this verse differently. “For he chose my adversary in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” God sees my adversary in the best light. In the completed form, in Christ–He see them as holy.
Like a bird set free from a cage, my heart is released. What a beautiful new creation is my brother…my sister!
How would your heart and habits extended to your brothers & sisters in Christ change if you saw them as God does? How do you treat the holy things? What value and special regard do you attribute to them?
I think about the instructions God gave to the Israelites for the care of the holy temple items–what if we treated each other like that? Approaching them purely, shining them up to glisten for God’s glory, guarding their safe-keeping, and grieving over anything that attempts to taint their worth. What if?
We would see Christ in each other, our hearts would be less judgmental, grace would be so thick you could grab hold of it, and the lost might just begin to believe the gospel has a power their life is missing.
More so, our hearts would be more greatly God-oriented. Eugene Peterson (Practice Resurrection) refers to Paul calling the Ephesian church ‘holy’ in this way, “Holy does not refer to them as they are in themselves; it refers to who they are in God. Paul is not particularly interested in them psychologically. Their moral behavior doesn’t top the list of what makes them who they are. It is God’s intent for them and God’s action for and in them that defines them. It is not what they think of themselves, or how well they are doing in life, how good they are that defines them. God is definitive for who they are!” (p. 79-80)
Maybe we spend so much time sniffing out the behavior of our brothers & sisters because we have such a small glimpse of the greatness of God’s love manifested in Jesus for us…and for the difficult ‘others’ in our lives.
But that’s for this Huckleberry Hound’s next investigation.