Chapter 1 of Genesis tells us we are made in God’s image. That means seeing through God’s eyes, in theory, at least. Here’s 1 Samuel: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7 ESV)
Although we are made in God’s image, our godliness is latent. It’s a potential that we must develop. The Book of Job hints at how God sees: “For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.” (Job 34:21 ESV)
To see with God’s eyes we must see all the steps, not just the sequential footfalls but also the invisible elements that affect how those we interact with think, act and feel.
To see with God’s eyes we must see all the steps, not just the sequential footfalls but also the invisible elements that affect how those we interact with think, act and feel. Here are 6 tips to see through God’s eyes:
1. See people with fresh eyes
Take a moment to ‘register’ each person that you interact with.
It’s easy to see those we know well as the accumulated sum of all our previous interactions or a stereotypical composite of how we perceive them. Seem them with fresh eyes, as they are in this moment, as if you’ve never met them before.
It’s equally easy to ‘pigeon hole’ those we don’t know based on appearances and first impressions. This denies us the opportunity to see their uniqueness.
2. Everyone has their own level of consciousness
We each have our own level of wisdom. We are all—myself included—learning that we are truly our “brothers’ keeper.” (Genesis 4:9) Some have mastered this more than others. To expect heart-based understanding beyond someone’s level of consciousness is an unrealistic expectation.
3. Everyone has their own level of sensitivity
It’s not often discussed, but we each have our own level of sensitivity. Human sensitivity is distributed in a bell curve with the majority in the middle, flanked by smaller numbers of insensitive and highly sensitive people.
This isn’t good nor bad, it just is. Insensitive people tend to be ‘low maintenance’ but with little grasp of emotions. Highly Sensitive Persons, as Elaine N. Aron PhD calls them, can be flighty—but they can also sense your mood and offer welcome emotional support.
How sensitive is the person in front of you? Don’t expect sensitivity from the insensitive, or insensitivity from the sensitive. Neither will oblige.
4. Everyone has their blind spots
No matter how competent and self-aware we are in many areas of life, we all have our blind spots where we are underdeveloped, immature, and lacking in awareness and self-reflection. If we’d solved all the puzzles God put on our plate, we would’ve grown angel wings and fluttered off the planet by now.
If someone you know to be generally stable behaves uncharacteristically, you may be seeing a blind spot—of which they’re completely unconscious—where they’re reacting to some arrested development, trauma or inherited shame.
5. Everyone has their ups and downs
Biorhythms. Bad luck. Getting out the wrong side of the bed. Whatever. We all have up days and down days, times when we’re mellow and chilled, and times when we’re hypersensitive and ready to bite someone’s head off for no reason.
It’s called being human. Where on this spectrum is the person who’s in front of you right now? (See tip #1) What can you glean from their behaviour, their body language, what they’re saying or not saying?
6. Everyone always does their best
Taking tips #2-5 into account, we each bring to each moment a pot pourri of who we are, what God has taught us, what God is yet to teach us, and who knows what other variables that we can’t classify or analyse. What is consistent is that each of us, in each moment, tries to do our best in spite of this.
John chapter 5 tells how Jesus healed a sick man at the pool of Bethzatha in Jerusalem: “Beside the pool was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw the man and realized that he had been crippled for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’”
Jesus was looking through God’s eyes and seeing “all his steps”. Jesus sensed that the man had long been crippled and—although we all yearn for healing—knew he might not be ready to let go of his crutch. By seeing through God’s eyes, Jesus matched his expectations to suit the man in front of him in that moment.
Remember, this includes seeing yourself through God’s eyes. Extend as much kindness as you can to both yourself and others—regardless of whether that kindness is returned.
Photo by Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash