Monday Message: God's Vision

“…the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but 
the Lord looks on the heart.”
 1 Samuel 16:7

When God looks at you, what do you think God sees?

That’s a tough question. It’s tough to imagine what God’s vision is like. It’s even tougher to look through our emotional baggage that hazes our own self-image. But the way we answer this question provides insight into two things: our relationship with God and our relationship with others.

The most important commandment for Christians is to love God with everything we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 22:36-40). When we understand that God looks at the heart – not the outward appearance – we can better understand our relationship with God. It is a relationship of unconditional love, grace, and mercy. It is a relationship of obedience as well, as God sees that which guides our actions. So, we love God with everything we are because he loves us first. Our love for him is a reflection back of his love.

Our love for neighbors is similar. When we understand that God looks at the heart, we see ourselves as valuable because of our worth in God. So to love neighbors as ourselves, it is important that we have a healthy self-worth based in the love of God. As we seek to follow God as disciples, our desire is to then see others with the same vision. We are not called to look at the outward appearance of our neighbors. Rather, we are called to love them as ourselves and seek to look at their heart. 

When we ignore God’s vision, and look at the outward appearance, we will love our neighbors based on outward appearance. That is not what Jesus commanded us to do in Matthew 22. When we accept and adopt God’s vision as our own, we will love our neighbors based on their inherent value as a cherished child of God who is created in His image.

May we all seek to adopt God’s vision for our own, so that we can love God fully and love our neighbors as ourselves. - Drew Hanson