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What Do You See When You Look At The World?

“Don’t judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.”  – Unknown

A few years ago, I worked for Armani – the Italian fashion designer – as a salesperson. In order to represent the brand properly, we were required to wear Armani suits and dress according to the Armani standards. When I put that suit on I felt like Bruce Wayne out on the town in Gotham. When I went back to my normal, comfortable street clothes, I was Batman…or just a dude wearing a Batman t-shirt and jeans. Either way, I appeared an entirely different way when I represented Armani versus representing myself. My co-workers didn’t even recognize me outside of my work clothes!

I think the same often goes with how we view one another, our circumstances, and the current state of the world.

We see someone raising their hands in church and we instantly think that they’re closer to God than the person sitting with their head in their hands, barely holding on…

The person you rejected as the biggest loser at school might just be the best friend you never had.

The heartache we face currently may just be the catalyst into the best season of our life…Yet we panic over our present situation, fearful that we’ll never recover.

Humanity judges by appearances and performance, but that begs the question: how does the eternal God view us, this thing we call “today”, and the world in which we live? Here’s a fascinating glimpse into the viewpoint of God, as he speaks to Jeremiah:

“‘Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.’” – Jeremiah 1:5

God knew us before we were even imagined…He knew the sin we would commit that would separate us from Him, yet He created us anyway with a plan of redemption already set in motion. The pain we would bring Him was worth it just to have us be a part of the story He was telling.

If you follow me on social media, then you know that I love taking photos of cities. Often, the pictures are from the street-level. However, I have also had the pleasure of taking a few pictures from above, looking down on the city below. Those photos have an entirely different perspective based on the position from which I stand.

God is on the street-level, He looks down on the city below, and He’s within everything in-between. He’s not missing anything.

Us? We only have a one dimensional viewpoint. We see the messy exterior of a beautiful soul. We only see the negatives in a situation that God is using for good. We see a fallen world, rather than the redemption that God is bringing into so many hearts around us.

What does God see? The big picture.

What do we see? Just a frame…A simple frame that is incomplete.

How should we respond and how should we live? I believe that our best response is to trust that God is up to something good, that we can be a catalyst of life-giving change in the world, and that other people deserve to be loved, regardless of external appearances and social status.

What do you see when you look at the world?