I’ve never liked the age-old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” It’s catchy to say, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.
In fact, throughout the course of my relational history, I would dare say this saying is missing an opportunity when rifts occur between two imperfect people.
Because relationship problems are bound to sting, seeing others through God’s eyes can be difficult.
The sticks and stones we toss at each other, whether through harsh words or unresolved conflict, may not cause physical pain, but they certainly tear at the tender parts of our hearts.
And yet, in our state of despair, if we do the brave thing and take our wounds to the only true Source of healing, something miraculous can occur.
God will take our hurt and heal the places we never knew needed healing.
I had a recent disagreement with a family member. If I’m honest, it was definitely more like a fight. We were speaking at each other but not hearing what the other person was saying.
Because of this, we couldn’t see each other or understand why the other person was reacting the way they did.
Empathy was exchanged for apathy and before we knew it, many days passed before we were able to sit down and talk openly.
The enemy knew how to get his foot in the door and pinpointed our triggers in order to prevent us from moving toward one another. Relationships, particularly families, are Satan’s favorite to divide and destroy.
What we didn’t realize was how God wanted to use our conflict to bring us closer together and help us see what was going on beneath our exteriors.
I realized I had made a vow to always be heard in relationships because my voice was often silenced in the past. Speaking was more important to me than seeing and God wanted to reverse that.
Often the heartache we experience in relationships highlights lies we are believing, whether it’s about ourselves or our Creator. Allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal what’s untrue ushers in a necessary unraveling that transforms our hearts and helps us see ourselves and others through the lens of the Cross.
With a new perspective, we are able to approach our hurting relationships in a healthy, God-cares-about-this-person-too kind of way.
Our Father gives us fresh eyes to see those who have hurt us as we ask for gospel-centered healing.
5 Ways Seeing Others Through God’s Eyes Transforms Relationships
I want to touch on Five Ways Seeing Others Through God’s Eyes Transforms Our Hurting Relationships. Will you join me?
1) Seeing others through God’s eyes helps us be a vessel of real love.
This world is very familiar with limited love. In other words, if we operate out of our flesh, we can offer love but it has conditions.
Sometimes these conditions are made known and sometimes we may not know we are unintentionally holding others up to them.
God’s love is not tethered to our actions or behaviors. He loves because it is His very nature. “God is love” 1 John 4:16 ESV.
And the only reason we experience true love on this earth is that God exists and He wants to share His love with those He has made.
The Bible says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us” 1 John 4:11-12 ESV
We are perfected into love by perfect Love Himself. We love because the abiding presence of the Most High compels us to do so.
As believers, we are called to emulate the love Christ has for us by extending that same love to one another. And sometimes we are a rare glimpse of God in the darkness for those who do not yet know our Jesus.
The question isn’t whether we should let God love others through us, it’s how.
2) Seeing others through God’s eyes helps us connect with those who have differing views.
As the holidays have come and gone, I’m sure we came across the potential for arguments and discussions because of our various opinions and beliefs.
Differences are a part of life and they are not all bad. When we choose to see another through the Creator’s eyes, we are choosing their value over being right.
We are making the decision to let someone know they are significant and what they believe matters too, even if their beliefs are very different from our own.
When someone feels acknowledged, they will be more likely to listen and be curious about what we believe as well.
We can trust the Holy Spirit to move and convict hearts. Respectful communication stems from realizing another person’s worth, not only to you but also to God.
Speaking the truth has little effect when done without connection and love.
3) Seeing others through God’s eyes helps us forgive those who have hurt us.
One of the keys to forgiveness is empathy. Being able to look at someone who has hurt us and see the why behind their choices is a gift from God.
When God’s children sin, God doesn’t wag a finger and say “shame on you!” Instead, He reaches down in grace and reminds us that our sins are already taken care of at the Cross.
It’s hard to fathom that all of our sins (and the sins of those who have hurt us) are already covered in Christ’s blood.
Forgiveness is available before we ask for it, but it’s our choice to receive it.
In the same way, we are called to forgive those who have hurt us, even before an apology is made or they choose to receive our forgiveness.
It’s hard work to forgive like Jesus, but our reward is a deeper relationship with our Savior and the honor of becoming more like Him.
As an important side note, choosing forgiveness also prevents the enemy from getting a foothold in our hearts.
When bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness take up residence in our souls, the domino effect reaches out to all other people in our life, whether we like it or not.
We can’t compartmentalize our hearts. Once a sliver of it goes cold to someone, the icy ripple will work its way into our dearest relationships, affecting our ability to see them through God’s eyes as well.
Freedom from unforgiveness is worth the effort.
4) Seeing others through God’s eyes helps us focus on our true calling in life – pointing others to Jesus.
God sent His only Son to die for the entire world, even those we would call our enemies.
Can you imagine how Christ’s heart ached when those He was dying for mocked him, beat him, spit in His face, gambled for His clothes, and ultimately killed Him?
Yet, what does Jesus say? “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NLT) Christ’s focus was not on the wrongs done against Him.
Jesus’s sight was fixed on the promise of restoration through His coming resurrection.
If we ask God to show us His purpose on this planet, the answer will always be spiritual reconciliation.
And if we ask Him to give us eyes to see what’s really going on, we will see a spiritual battle for the eternal destiny of every soul.
Having a godly perspective when interacting with others will help us let go of offenses and lay down our rights for the sake of someone’s salvation and sanctification.
As we focus on pointing others to Christ through our words and actions, we can trust that God will bind up any broken parts of our hearts that need healing.
All image-bearers matter to God.
5) Seeing others through God’s eyes helps us appreciate His character and empowers us to treat others the way He treats us.
This has been implied in the previous points, but the faithfulness of God to His children cannot be overstated. Every day people do things that can strain their relationship with God.
We stumble over our own striving. We try to take matters into our own hands. We treat others in ways that do not align with how God treats us.
Still, through it all, God’s character remains the same.
He is faithful. He is true. He is just. He is kind. He is merciful.
God is the only person who will never let us down, and according to His power, He is transforming us so we can be more like Him.
We are being changed in order to help change this hurting world.
Seeing Others Through God’s Eyes
The Bible says the gospel is a mystery to the angels (Colossians 1:26 AMP).
They cannot understand as servants of the Living God how the Creator of all things could do what He has done for those He has made.
But God knows why. He wants to be with us. He chose to experience pain in order to have a relationship with His kids – one where we serve Him but are also called friends.
It benefits us greatly because once we understand His motive, God’s same desire for restored relationships can be cultivated in us too.
The mystery of the gospel is this: Christ was crucified for the sake of love. And now we are called to model this same selflessness to those around us.
How we treat others is a testimony to the good news.
But by God’s grace, as we move toward reconciliation He promises to empower us, bless us and see us through every relational rift we will encounter.
All glory to God, our faithful Redeemer, and friend!
This post was originally published on ButterflyLiving.org.