How Do You See Others?
How we see those who hold different opinions or beliefs determines our response to them.
We view life through glasses. Perhaps we look through the lens of injustice or trauma; perhaps our eyes gaze through the lens of nurture and hope. For clarity, we need God’s lens of love.
Years ago, I learned we are like icebergs, with only 10% of our thought life on the surface. Buried deep in the secret chambers of our hearts, we store unresolved trauma and issues from the past, either ignored, repressed, or too painful to remember. In this hidden place of woundedness and disorder, the enemy of our soul gains the legal right to deceive us. The lies we believe become the lens we view the actions of others through.
Unresolved emotions become triggers that drive your perceptions, thoughts, and actions.
Unresolved Emotions Cause Harm
God designed your brain to protect you from imminent danger. Your brain interprets what feels threatening as danger, causing you to react. This is helpful in the moment but when you bury the fear, anger, or pain they become toxic. God wants us to come into the light and express them in His presence.
Unresolved, they become triggers that drive your perceptions, thoughts, and actions. The brain perceives “different” as being dangerous and will trigger you. Even though there is no danger, it shapes your truth making you believe people, even when innocent and deeply loved, are your enemy.
When you look at your brother or sister in Christ, pause.
Feelings are powerful, but feelings don’t predicate truth. That person is not the enemy.
Tell yourself the truth. Take off the glasses you look through and put on a different lens. Look at them through Jesus. See Christ who dwells within them. You love Jesus, focus on Him, not what feels dangerous. Be curious. God allowed this situation to teach you something new!
How Do We Respond in Love Instead of Reacting?
Jesus calls us to respond in love. It’s okay to disagree with the person’s actions. But remember. God is love. As you abide in the love of Christ, you make your home in God. His love covers a multitude of sins. Because He loves, He listens without judgment. You and I are to be quick to listen, slow to react.
How Can We Bless Our Enemies?
Jesus calls us to demonstrate an attitude of love to our enemies. “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28).
I used to struggle with this command. How could I bless those who had violated me? Then Jesus showed me a principle, which freed me to forgive, to bless, and to love.
The Bible says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph 6:12).
The person is NOT the enemy. The kingdom of darkness is your enemy.
You and I don’t have the authority to attack our brothers and sisters. To fight the wrong enemy gives the true enemy legal power to defeat you and take you captive.
What’s the Solution?
Love Jesus with all of your heart. Love Him with your mind, your soul, and your strength. If you do, you will begin to walk in the truth of His command. “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom 12:9).
Dissimulation means what is undisguised, without hypocrisy or pretense. Paul speaks of sincere love, where God’s love is moment by moment shed abroad in your heart because you dwell in God’s presence. Being in His Word, looking into the face of Christ, He brings order into the inner chambers of your heart and empowers you to love and forgive those who hurt you.
In closing, when you look at that impossible person, remember your true enemy is at work behind the scenes. That person is not your enemy. See him or her – in all their toxicity – as a human being, created in the image of God and deeply loved by the Heavenly Father; a person Jesus died to redeem, a person the Holy Spirit longs to comfort and guide.
So dear one,
Look up to Jesus. Be thankful He is helping you discern your true enemy dwells in the kingdom of darkness.
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