Summary: How do we view others around us?
Go through the optical illusions: (slides 1-6)
The eyes can be deceiving. The brain may tell us one thing while our eyes see another.
Dog: How do we respond? (7)
Most of us warm to animals.
Children begging: How do we respond? (8)
The sight of children may cause us to think more deeply about the state of the world and the poverty some children face.
Lame man: How do we respond? (9)
Not many would stop and respond to this man. People turn a blind eye especially with adults and men in particular.
The world is full of people (10) Take a good look at the person next to you. What do you see?
How do we view others around us?
We see the people we want to see. We tend to find people of ‘like kind’. Same social status, nationality or age groups. As a mature adult, we wouldn’t necessarily hang around with a bung of children! Or a young male teenager may not be seen with many older women. There are some exceptions.
Acts 3:1-10 (11)
4Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”
One day Peter and John were going to ‘Church’
But this day was different for them and for the man sitting there.
This day they noticed him. Why?
What was different about this day to all the other days?
He’d been there for over 40 years Acts 4:22
The man hadn’t changed, but the disciples had.
We see people everyday, neighbours, friends, family, colleagues and those we pass by at the mall etc. (12)
Each day we may pass by and see more than 100+ people.
Our view of others
Do we really see them?
Why do we notice some and not others? It may be something just happens to catch our eye that day.
When we take a good look around, do we see God in others? Or do we see their age difference, their culture, their colour, their gender, or their disability?
We can be bias. There is a big generation gap today and since the 60’s it’s been much more noticeable. It can be a cultural thing too.
We tend to avoid some people; we pass them by
We can consciously make a choice to ignore people or to look for opportunities to talk to them. What determines whether we stop and talk or not? Why can we find it easier with some than others?
Society is suspicious of anyone these days that they don’t know. We have hardened our hearts towards some due to how we feel they may react to us. We don’t want to be rejected!
Do we really look intently on the inner person or do we just see what’s before us?
John Ortberg in ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted’ speaks about Mable. She was in a state-run convalescent home. A place where people were left to die.
Woman 25yrs in a home
She was strapped into a wheelchair; half her face was eaten away with cancer, she was blind and almost deaf; she drooled constantly. She was 89.
John Ortberg gave her a Mother’s day flower; she tried to smell it and said thank you, ‘but can I give it to someone else?’ To which she gave it to someone and told them the flower was from Jesus.
He spoke with her and learned her life story. She became an inspiration to him.
Peter and John saw more than a lame man, they saw a way to glorify Jesus.
Did they see the pain, the humiliation and the poverty not only in body but in spirit?
What they had, they shared. They knew what he needed.
When we have Jesus and we know others need Him too, why do we selfishly keep it to ourselves? Someone told you and I, be it at Sunday school, a friend, or even a stranger.
Is there someone you need to fix your eyes on?
Has God been asking you to speak with someone? Are you willing to share Him?
And what did the lame man see in Peter and John?
5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.
He only expected money, but he got far more.
They were probably just another two people going to the temple. But these two were different. The question they gave indicated that they had something far more than themselves.
People we pass by daily watch us more closely than you think.
What do they see?
I wonder what your neighbour and mine see and hear coming from the home? What does the fellow driver see when driving behind you or I? Or in a checkout at the supermarket?
Some people know you better than you know yourself.