One of the things I have come to realise as a parent is that you look for the best in your children. Even when there are aspects of their character that need some work, we choose to focus on enhancing their strengths and seeing their greatness, while praying and speaking into any weaknesses.
Likewise God sees a lot of value in each of us; He sees greatness in us, and He knows full well what we are capable of. When God looks at us—He sees the best in us, He sees what others don’t or refuse to see in us.
Samuel 16: 7 tells of the difference between how others saw David and how God saw him. It says, “…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
David was overlooked by his own family, and viewed as being too insignificant to even include in a celebration with Samuel the prophet. Yet God noticed David, and He saw the best in Him. He saw His heart and believed in what He could be.
The women who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears was a known sinner. Most people would call her a woman of ill repute or a prostitute. She did not have a good reputation. People had written her off as being a no good hopeless sinner, unworthy of any consideration and unworthy of their compassion. However, Jesus was different. He saw the best in her. He saw who she was created to be, and not just what she had become. Overcome by the greatness of God’s forgiveness towards her she began to cry, and the tears fell on the feet of Jesus. Untying her hair she used it to dry her tears off his feet, and then with the little she had of value she anointed Jesus feet with her precious bottle of perfume. (Luke 7:36-50)
Those watching commented, “This man is no prophet! If he were a prophet he would know about this sinful woman! He would turn her away”.
Sadly far too often we can respond the same way. How quick are we to pass judgment, to presume, and fail to look and see the best in people? We fail at the very thing for which we also have to be most grateful for ourselves. That God sees the best in us. That He believes in us. That when He looks at us He sees love us, and sees that all things are possible.
Jesus forgave the woman because He saw the best in her, when everyone else could only see the worst in her. Because of Jesus’ compassion and reassurance this woman chose to acknowledge that her lifestyle was not God’s best for her, and realised that she was of greater value than she or others had given her credit for. Jesus didn’t condemn or give her a lecture on the error of her ways; He simply loved and welcomed her into his presence, and it changed her life forever.
Today, Jesus is still the same. He still believes and looks for the best in each one of us. He still believes in us regardless of what our life may look like to others, or even who and what we see when we look in the mirror. He loves us, and still welcomes all who come to Him into His presence.
Plus He wants us to imitate Him; to look for the best in ourselves, and in others. He wants us to believe for the better, for the seemingly impossible, for miracles, for lives being transformed and changed. He hasn’t changed, for “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Today take a look in the mirror and see what Jesus sees when he looks at you. Know that you are of value and greatly loved. That He believes the best of you. Then as you meet others today, imitate Jesus and look for the greatness and best in them too.
Prayer: Lord thank you that you see the best in me. Help me to see myself as you do, and to start to live out of that new understanding of who I am in you. Then please help me to show the same grace and love to all I meet today. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Read about the women who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears: Luke 7:36-50 (NIV)
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”