Seeing Others As God Sees Them
“I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.[a] 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 NLT
As 1 Peter continues in verses 1 and 2, Peter speaks to the church in a very endearing way. He speaks as an elder pastor looking at a church struggling with her existence and purpose. While those in the churches he wrote to surely saw the problems they were facing as a result of their newfound faith, Peter observes potential. Surely Peter recalls the times when he struggled with his faith and had to wrestle with his own fears and insecurities. Surely Peter recalls how much of an impact it made on his life when the Lord Jesus still spoke life and believed in him, when he no longer believed in himself.
As Peter addresses the churches, I find it meaningful as to what Peter calls them, and especially meaningful as to what Peter DOES NOT call them.
He doesn’t identify them according to the size of their church building or according to the amount of people who attended Sunday services. Peter does not identify them as the “persecuted church” although we know they were. He does not call them the downcast or the discouraged, although they surely were. He doesn’t identify them as believers who were tired and afraid, although they probably were.
Peter instead looks at the churches and identifies them as “God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners…” Rather than speaking to their present situations and problems, Peter spoke directly to who they are in Christ Jesus. Rather than seeing them and speaking to them as they were, Peter spoke to their potential in Christ.
I must learn to begin to see others as Jesus sees them. I need to learn to call others as Jesus calls them. Peter learned not to identify people according to their problems, challenges, and obstacles. Peter identified people according to what and how God identified them.
I need to remember that when I teach the Word of God at J-12, I am not just speaking to 5-6th graders, I am speaking to, “God’s chosen people.” When I teach the Word of God at youth ministries, I am not speaking to high school kids. I am speaking to, “God’s chosen people.” When I teach the Word of God at church services and functions, I am not speaking to a church or group of people. I am speaking to, “God’s chosen people.” When I teach the Word of God at Spiritual Gift or Essential classes, I am not speaking to people who are new to the church. I am speaking to, “God’s chosen people.” Peter learned to see people as Jesus did. I must do likewise.
Holy Spirit open my eyes and my perspective to see others as You see them and to call them as You call them. In Jesus’ name, amen.