Seeing People As God Sees Them

As the woman approached me in the aisle of the store I noticed her long face. I did not know this woman, but the next moment she passed me and I had this sense that she was burdened by something. I took a few more steps and then I felt the need to pray that the Spirit of God would fill her with hope; that she would feel the presence of Jesus Christ easing her emotional load. After that short prayer I turned to look back and she was no longer in the aisle.

This brief encounter made an impression on me. It made me think about how God looks at people — about the love and grace he offers us in the midst of our struggles. To see people as God sees them is to feel their burdens and pain; to experience the hopelessness people feel in life without Jesus Christ. When our heart is oriented toward God our desires become God’s desires. We share a longing for others to know Christ Jesus and the hope he brings.

We see Jesus modeling this compassion in Matthew 14:13-14. In this passage Jesus had just learned about the beheading of John so he climbs into a boat to seek a place of solitude. When he reaches shore he is greeted by a large crowd. He wanted to take time to grieve, but scripture tells us “he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

God knows our hearts and he knows our needs. Jesus reminded us of this in Matt 6:8: “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” God knows when we need someone to touch our lives to ease our burdens and he knows when we should reach out to others in need. He uses the Spirit to nudge us to help one another whether it is a short prayer, a conversation or helping with a need. As a community of believers in Jesus Christ we need be attentive to the Spirit’s leading to help us see people as God sees them.

© 2018 CGThelen

#Retrospective: This post originally published January 17, 2018.

11 thoughts on “Seeing People As God Sees Them

  1. This was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. It does remind me to see that Jesus was present even when so many are hurting. He has compassion for all his children.

    1. Indeed, Jesus has compassion for hurting people. It is often mentioned in the gospels. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  2. Seeing people as God sees them is a gift that can come at unexpected times. About four years ago (or eight years ago?) I was watching the Olympic opening ceremonies as the athletes came in from dozens of countries, some of which I was not even that familiar. As I saw the vast sea of faces, suddenly I was in love with every one of them! And it occurred to me that this is how God feels about all of those He created in His image. (“For God so loved the world…”) It brought me to tears.

  3. Thank you for this word. This is something the Lord spoke to my heart yesterday…the need for me to see people as He sees them…not simply their need but the person.

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