In relationships we are called to see others the way our Redeemer sees us. In order to do this, we must first see how our Redeemer views us. So, how does God look at us?
We are His treasure, His portion, and His perfect creation. He looks at us with loving eyes. God is love and His love is the highest type of love, called agape, meaning it is sacrificial, selfless, and unconditional. So His love for us has no limits and no conditions. This is hard for us to grasp because in this world, love is primarily a feeling that is conditional: it is usually given when it’s being reciprocated.
In a lot of relationships love can be pretty selfish, based on what the other person does for ME and how they make ME feel, and based on a feeling that can one day fade. This conditional love is centered on a give-get system. We have to be successful or something special for the other person to love us. We have to say and do all the right things or the relationship isn’t going to work.
Well, God’s love is not like that. We don’t have to achieve anything or be anything for Him to love us.
He loves us just the way we are because He carefully and wonderfully created us. And His greatest act of love for us is that while we were dead and so deep in sin – what others would classify as “too far gone” – God willingly sent his only son, whom he loved dearly, to die for all of our sins. Most people wouldn’t even do that for a good person but God did it to save all people: the lost, the dirty, the sinful, the shameful and guilty. He sacrificed his son for people that may never reciprocate His love. I mean, who does that?? That is why His love is unfathomable: because it is unfailing, unconditional, everlasting, and unrelenting in the pursuit of our hearts. It is like something we have never experienced except through Him.
The greatest example for me is from the book I am currently reading, Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. For those of you who have not read this book, you need to immediately stop what you’re doing and go get this this book as soon as possible. I don’t read ever and I cannot put this book down. The book is based off of Hosea, the book in the Bible where God called the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute.
In Redeeming Love, Michael is a farmer who God called to marry a prostitute, Angel. And the way Michael Hosea sees Angel is a perfect picture of how our Redeemer sees us. When Michael sees her, he sees this absolutely amazing, breathtakingly gorgeous woman with a beautifully sweet heart that has been wounded. And ALL he wants to do is to love her. Now from the eyes of the world, she is a lowly, dirty, worthless prostitute. With judging eyes, the people turn their noses up at her and mock her as she passes. Why? She’s used up, soiled and ruined, so of course that’s what she deserves. Let’s be real here, some of the men that looked down on her were the very men that paid her for her services. They judged her when they did the same thing as her!
Come on. We are all dirty and sinful, but just because someone else’s sin is visible does not give us the right to look down on them and judge them. We are only human, so when we look at others, we see is their outward appearance first. It’s easy to make judgments based off of what we see, even though we don’t know the person’s life, struggles, heart, or what they are going through. Now when God sees us, He sees not only our outward appearance, but also our heart. He sees our deepest desires, our struggles, our pain, basically our everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And yet He still views us as not only beautiful, but as His own perfect creation.
Where we may see filth, He sees beauty and where we may see brokenness, He sees His beloved.
So, as we look at others we need to choose to see them through the eyes of His redeeming love, and see everyone as God’s precious beloved.
PC: @laurarowe via #BelovedLife