December 5, 2013

Choose Your Lens

The more I've looked at my own heart, and watched the struggles of other people, the more I'm convinced that the problems and divisions manifesting themselves in Christianity these days isn't about lack of knowledge.

We all have a problem with vision. Not the 'vision' of future plans, but of our spiritual eyesight.

We make so many theological decisions that have huge personal and social implications for us based solely on evidence presented to us. But how we look at that evidence makes a world of difference in how we treat others and ourselves.

Do we see the world as fallen into evil, or do we see it as God's good creation? Do we see people as depraved sinners, or do we see each person as a bearer of God's image ? Are we living out the law of sin and death, or the law of love?

It comes down to what lens we're looking through. A lens of judgement or a lens of grace.

A lens of judgement keeps us drawn towards the negative, the depravity, the sinning.

A lens of grace lets us see the good, the Imago Dei, and love.

I lived most of my life looking through a lens of judgment. Nothing was ever good enough in this world, especially myself.

A few years ago, I was given a wonderful gift; a new pair of glasses for my heart. It took a while for things to come into focus; the change of view was too big to grasp all at once. But now I understand how I can learn to do the difficult and radical things that Jesus called us to do.

Like learning that in order to love an enemy, I need to know him as a person.

Like learning not to lust in my heart by realizing that the beautiful women I see are bearers of God's image.

Like learning how to forgive and love myself, so that I can better love others.

I don't always put on my new glasses; they're not always comfortable on my curmudgeon's face. But, I'm getting more accustomed to them, and gradually looking more like a friend than a curmudgeon. The curmudgeon is still there, but slowly disappearing as I get used to seeing myself with these new glasses.

What lenses are in your glasses?

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