How Do You See People?

I tilt my head a bit to look for myself in his stick figure drawing. I wonder is this truly how he sees me? He waits.

“Is that me?” I ask. 

Pen in hand, like Picasso, he nods. Proudly. Seriously. 

I resist the “looks just like me,” response and go for the, “that’s so good!” instead. 

“It’s you Gamma,” he confirms. We both step back and silently contemplate. 

The insightful drawings of a four-year-old brings this question to my mind, “How do I see people?”

 And, to be honest, my answer, makes me a little uncomfortable, because often when I see others, it’s filtered through my own comparative lens. And my answer often comes with inordinate speed.  

  • Rich or poor?
  • Fat or thin?
  • Attractive or plain? 
  • Pleasant or Sand Paper? 
  • Friendly or reserved?
  • Outgoing or shy?
  • Confident or insecure?
  • Politically aligned or opposed? 

How do you see people? 

I often see people with labels attached, and those tags may either dismiss or enlarge who they are in my esteem. 

When God asked Samuel to anoint a king, He told him where to go and which family the king would come from. Yet, with all that, Samuel’s choice faltered because of the appearance of the men who paraded past him. Seven of the brothers looked hunky-dory to Samuel. He labelled them king material, but the Lord did not choose any of them. 

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV Click To Tweet

Jesus chose Saul on the road to Damascus. Notorious in the Christian community, he was a murderer, and a blasphemer. In no way did he seem fit to become a follower of Jesus. Yet, Jesus proclaimed him “a chosen vessel” to bear His name “before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15 NKJV) 

The Father does that. He chooses not by what we see, or because anyone deserves it. He chooses in mercy. He sees in grace. 

He chooses in mercy. He sees in grace. Click To TweetHe picked Abraham out of paganism to become the Father of a nation. He chose twelve distinctly different disciples to turn the world upside down. He visited a young virgin to be the mother of the Christ-Child. None of them earned their label. 

Yet, no one remains the same after His choosing. 

How does God see us?

We are new creatures, the old is gone. He sees us as forgiven, reconciled to God and ambassadors of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

He sees us blessed, chosen, loved, adopted and redeemed. (Ephesians 1:3-15)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7).

How grateful I am that God sees past all the labels which could be attached to my being, and gazes deep within to where a forgiven grandma finds a striking resemblance in a simple drawing. 

For surely the greatest proof that God sees differently than I do, is that He reached down and chose me to belong to Him. 

How do you see people?

24 Replies

  1. Preston Derden Reply

    What great ensight we can gain from a 4 year old and the Lord’s word. Thank you for putting it in perspective, so beautifully.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Preston for reading it and commenting on it. The simplicity of a 4 year old often makes me stop short and consider life. I am grateful for these times when God uses a child to imprint truth. I appreciate your encouragement today.

  2. Barbara Latta Reply

    I’m thankful for the mercy lens that God views me through. Yes, I have been guilty of looking at others through those worldly eyes that don’t reflect the love God want to give them. Seeing ourselves and others through Scripture is the way to see through the Lord’s eyes.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Barbara. I appreciate your comment about seeing through the eyes of Scripture as the way to see through the Lord’s eyes. It reinforces the fact that only as we continue to pour in God’s Word can our own perspectives alter. Thank you for those thoughts!

  3. Don Pahl Reply

    When God sees me by grace in Christ, should I not seek to observe others through those same lens?

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      OOOOOh, that is such a great statement. Thank you Don. You need a blog.

  4. J.D. Wininger Reply

    A powerful, and convicting, post my friend. If only we so-called “adults” would look at the world with the eyes of a child. Perhaps we’d see the beauty of nature instead of the messiness of the forest. We might seek the best in people rather expecting the worst. We would not judge people by their exterior, but instinctively know their heart by their kindness. It isn’t how we look or sound, but how we act that matters and actions come from what’s (and Who) is inside. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      J.D. thank you. That was powerfully said. “The beauty of nature instead of the messiness of the forest,” “the best in people rather than the worst,” “instinctively know their heart by their kindness.” These are words for me to contemplate today. Thank you.

  5. Lois S. Reply

    I find myself asking: are there parts of others that I do not or cannot see? Do I see them as “all head”? Do I lack a “3D” view of who they are? Again, it is helpful to seek to see others as God sees them.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes! Great questions, Lois. Undoubtedly we do not fully see others as God sees us, but to seek Him in our vision of others…that is such a challenge and one full of blessings. Thank you for those provoking questions which spurs me to further reflection.

  6. Cleo J Waters Reply

    Oh! I love this message. And, I love the art work of your 4-year-old! I must add that a dear friend of mine who is blind told me once that all sighted people are handicapped. He said, “You should hear what I hear – ‘Look how fat she is!’ ‘Look at him…wearing black shoes with shorts!’ ‘He is so ugly!’, etc.” He added that he ‘sees’ with his ears… from what people say. I think of that so many times. Your message is a reminder to me to see through the eyes that God gave me. Thanks.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Cleo! It’s good to hear from you. I can see with my eyes the wisdom in your friend’s words. There is so much more than what our eyes tell us. Thanks for sharing your experience with your friend!

  7. Nancy E. Head Reply

    “No one remains the same after His choosing.”

    Thank you, Sylvia, for that wonderful thought. God bless!

  8. Brenda Griswold Reply

    Wonderful! This makes me think about so many wrong judgements I can make by my dirty viewing lens. I love your writings!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Brenda, I really appreciate you chiming in. I certainly make those judgements too. I am so very grateful for the lens of Christ through which God looks at me. Pure grace.

  9. David Riddell Reply

    I see unbelievers and believers.
    All of us are sinners, but some of us are saved sinners.
    It is sad to know that unbelievers will not enter the Kingdom because they refuse to believe.
    Still, we are to pray for them and leave it in God’s will.
    Some may come to repentance, some will not.
    That is the hard truth.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you for reading and commenting, David. There are difficult truths in Scripture, but wonderful ones too. May we see through the eyes of Jesus and may that spur us to tell others the Good News!

  10. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Sometimes it’s scary to know that God sees all through us to our heart, and all the down and dirty in-between. But to comprehend that He loves me, in spite of knowing me so well, is amazing. Thank you Sylvia.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I was thinking about that today as I was out walking. It is an amazing grace that I am convicted when I sin. I do hate seeing and admitting sometimes to what lies beneath…but how gracious the Father is to not let me sit there!!Thanks Katherine. What a confirmation of His love!