Summary: Once we know that God sees Jesus in us, that will have a dramatic impact on how we view others around us.
Knowing Jesus Impacts Others
August 10, 2002
I hope you had a better week, this one just ending, than some have been, and that you were able to bask in the light of God’s view of yourself, because of understanding, more fully, how He views you. What we considered last week is very important- that your relationship with Jesus has a tremendous impact on the relationship you have with yourself.
We’re told something significant in Romans 12.3- we’re told there that we’re not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think seriously/soberly, as God gives each of us faith. This is very significant. When you think you’re junk, you’re thinking differently about yourself than God wants. If you think you’re ‘God’s gift to humanity’ and are "strutting your stuff" because of that, then you’re thinking inaccurately and incorrectly, too. So, it’s vital for us to think as God thinks, and to realize that God sees Jesus in you, and that is what he focuses on. Part of thinking properly about ourselves IS understanding what we considered last week. You are an incredibly valuable member of God’s eternal family, and you need to know that. It is a false humility to be thinking about you as being nothing, or as being too much. Without question, it CAN be heady stuff to realize how it is that God sees you. You ARE special- no question- but you’re just every bit as special as God wants you to be, AND you’re just every bit as special as each other individual around you and on God’s green earth! This is important to understand. All of God’s children are very special. IF you understand how God sees you, what is the next step?
It is to understand how God sees each other person with whom you have contact at any time in your life. Thinking soberly and not too highly doesn’t mean thinking highly about you and then ramming other people to the ground. From a Godly view of yourself, which comes from understanding something of God’s mind, comes a Godly view of the others with whom you get to share this earth for some short period of time. And it’s important not to get arrogant about yourself and about your place- but to understand that as you are and the place you have here is how God sees all- and it’s a very, very lofty view- and the place you have here, in the centre of God’s attention, is the same place He has in mind for each other person. He wants Jesus to be in each other person, and to have a very lofty place here. (Sometimes it’s hard to imagine this about some others. This week, I read ‘Zoya’s Story’- a book about Afghanistan from the perspective of a woman who was quietly fighting for women’s rights during the reigns of terror of the Mujahadeen and the Taliban- the former, by the way, are essentially in charge again, so things are not necessarily as better as they should be there, yet. But to read of some of the atrocities committed by people in just the past 5 years can make you want to send everyone to burn forever- but that’s NOT God’s perspective on those who ‘cut the hands’ or who decapitated or who gang raped. God desires for each of these people, without any proper concept of their place in God’s eyes, to think ‘soberly…as God would give them faith’.)
Understanding yourself, with Jesus alive in you, is liberating and very freeing when it comes to others.
So, let’s think about those others who are around you.
Who shares life with you? Who are some of the people? Let’s make a list.
Galatians 5. 13-15- think about the liberty that comes knowing how God views you. Think about how you don’t have to grovel in the dirt and try to twist God’s arms in order to have forgiveness. Think about how free you are to live before God knowing that He doesn’t focus on the mistakes you make but on Jesus in you (the mistakes you repent of when you recognize them, of course, but there’s no question what God will do with them- or has done with them). But you’re not to use this freedom just to promote yourself and to have your way. You’re not to use it to become libertine and to indulge the flesh because you know God sees Jesus in you and stands ready to forgive the sins. But there’s something you have to do with regard to those around you, and it is ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.
This doesn’t call on us to focus a lot on ourselves in order to love ourselves. Certainly, in the age in which this was originally written, there is no question that it is assumed that everyone loves themselves. Today, that may be a bit different- maybe- but there is a strong case to be made for the idea that we all inherently love ourselves and anything we do, we do from that measure of love. At any rate, we’re not going to focus on self-love beyond this matter of perspective that we’ve been considering, because it forms the basis- the proper basis- for looking out at others and working with them.