Note: Kim Sechler serves as a pastor on the Green Bay Community Church staff.
I've been thinking about how I see things or don’t see things very clearly.
The story is told about a man going on a journey who was met by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up and left him to die.
A man soon approached the place where the man laid. Upon seeing him, he didn’t stop, he moved to the other side of the road so he wouldn’t be near him. He didn’t want to get involved.
Shortly, another man showed up but he also avoided the injured man.
Another man came down the same road, but when he saw the man his heart went out to him. He went to the man and gave him first aid and bandaged his wounds. Before continuing his journey he took him to a hotel and said to the proprietor that if the man had other expenses to put them on his tab and he would pay for them when he returned.
The news crew got wind of this and decided to interview the first two men to find out why they did what they did. Both said they had other commitments and demands at work and didn’t have time to stop and get involved. It was none of their business.
All three of these men saw the same thing, didn’t they? They saw a man who was beat up, stripped of his clothes and left for dead.
In reality they didn’t see the same thing at all. Two of the men saw an interruption in their schedule and were too busy to stop. Only one man saw a man in need and felt compassion.
Haddon Robinson gave two points I want to take and run with:
Point 1: Who you are determines what you see. That is always true, isn’t it? When my car is making noises that it never did before I take it to a mechanic. If I were to look under the hood all I could say is, “Well, there it is. There is the engine.” That is as far as I would get. If the mechanic were to look under the hood he would say, "Start it up. Do you hear that noise? That is your _______ going out. We need to get that fixed now.”
He knew what to look for because of who he is. The same would be true if I went to see a doctor about a medical issue. He tells me to stick out my tongue. Somehow by looking at my tongue he can tell something about my physical health. He sees things I do not see.
When you look at your spouse what do you see? Do you see an enemy or someone who is on the same team? Do you see an irritation or intrusion while you are trying to watch TV? Or do you see someone that God has brought into your life to be loved and cherished?
Do you have children? When you look at them what do you see? Do you see someone who needs constant attention or an interruption in your day or someone who makes unending demands on your life? Maybe their emotional tank is low and they just need a hug. My son comes to me at an inopportune time – I am watching the Packers play their rival. My son asks me if we can play catch outside. Do I see him as an intrusion or someone who wants and longs to be with his dad?
When you look at your boss, what do you see? Someone who is obnoxious and demanding or someone who needs a word of encouragement. Who you are determines what you see.
When you see the news reports about Covid-19, what do you see? Do you see an intrusion into your life and feel anxiety and helpless about you and your family’s future? Or, do you reflect on what things are really essential in life and necessary? Maybe priorities need to be examined and adjusted because of a virus that is beyond your control.
Point 2: What you see determines what you do. Two men saw a man beat up and left for dead. They had vision but no sight. Only one man coming down the road saw a man with a need and took care of him. When he saw him he was filled with compassion. I heard one definition of compassion that I like: Compassion is your tears on my face.
Ask God to give you eyes to see people the way He does. And ask Him to give you courage to move into their world.
The same love that enables me to love God enables me to love my spouse, children, boss or the man beside the road. What I see when I look at those people will determine what I do. We make the invisible God visible when we love and care for people He brings into our lives.
Remember: Who you are determines what you see and what you see determines what you do.
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