Yesterday, while Arleen and I were emailing what we learned from our devotionals, she mentioned Matthew 13:16-17:
“But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
She said it reminded her of a song by Brandon Heath, called “Give Me Your Eyes,” about seeing other people through the eyes of Jesus. This has been one of the areas I have been trying to work on in my own life. I tend to get into the habit of looking at other people as things. Things that need to be dealt with, things that need to be endured, things that need to be judged. Looking at people in this way dehumanizes them, and I’ve noticed the little ways in which this outlook has influenced my actions: I’m impatient. I don’t listen. I trivialize problems and situations others are experiencing. I’m less compassionate. I’m incredibly judgmental. The list goes on and on.
When I take a hard look at my attitude toward others, it makes me sad. I’ve read about situations in which others have dehumanized their fellow human beings (often in more sensational ways, i.e., the Stanford Prison Experiment) and never thought that would happen to me. And while I’ve never taken it to extremes like abuse, I have neglected to look at others as people, just like me, who have feelings and emotions, just like me. This needs to change, because I can’t claim to be a follower of Christ while treating people like crap. I want my life to be a reflection of God. I want to say, “I love people” instead of my default response, which is, “Ugh, I hate people!” I have decided to make that Brandon Heath song my personal prayer to help make this happen.