1 Samuel 16:7b – The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (NIV)
Sometimes God teaches His lessons in the most interesting ways. Last year on the first day of spring, I went to the door and discovered spring had forgotten to come. "Br-rrr!" I said, "That's cold," and I put the dog outside and prepared to stay in for the duration of such a miserable day.
However, as I stood by the window, my attention was taken by the sight of a small boy; my neighbour's son was bundled up and sliding on the hill between our two houses. Although the snow swirled all around him, he was laughing and enjoying what to him was an unexpected treat from nature.
The child's opinion and mine, about the very same set of weather conditions, differed greatly. We weren't looking at the situation from the same perspective. However, when I bundled up, allowed myself to become a child again, and went outside to take part in the winter fun, my opinion changed. The day was no longer miserable.
Over the years, differences of opinion have created damage in our homes, churches, and communities. But an illustration from nature reminded me that these disagreements frequently depend on the angle we use when observing the situation. When a difference of opinion occurs, it's helpful to visit the other person's point of view. It may change our mind, or at least provide a place for understanding.
Thankfully, God doesn't form opinions by what He sees on the surface, but He goes deeper, to the heart.
Prayer: God, thank You for demonstrating Your love and understanding by sending us Your Son to walk where we walk, to judge us, not by outward appearances, but by looking at our hearts. Help us to be quick to see the hearts of others, our loved ones, our churches, and the members of our communities. Amen.