look at what is before your eyes. if anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. for even if i boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, i will not be ashamed. [2 corinthians 10:7-8]
if the corinthians looked at what they could see with their eyes, what would they have seen around them?
- they would likely see fisherman working year round in the harshest of weather and mending nets.
- they would likely see pharisees with the longest tassels and little boxes full of writings of the torah strapped to their foreheads.
- they would likely see women wearing anklets, bracelets, earrings and even a nose ring.
- they would likely see roman soldiers adorned with armor, a helmet and scarf.
then… they would see paul. they would see an unimpressive and fragile man. but what did they do to really know who he was?
similarly, how much more would our body flourish if we treated everyone’s gifts in the local body as necessary? What if we saw people through God’s lens? it would look like:
- empowering women to use gifts of teaching & shepherding.
- allowing middle-schoolers to serve on tech team.
- embracing the perspective that a foreign exchange student brings.
- engaging those who are retired.
- they are necessary. you are necessary.
but the Lord said to samuel, “do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because i have rejected him. for the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” [1 samuel 16:7]
do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. [john 7:24]
~ natalie schmidt