One of the things I have realised as a parent is that you look for the best in your children. Even when aspects of their character need some work, you focus on enhancing their strengths and seeing their greatness while praying and speaking into any weaknesses.
Likewise, God sees value and greatness in us and knows what we are capable of. When He looks at us—He sees the best an 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 family and viewed as too insignificant to even include in a celebration with Samuel the prophet. Yet God noticed David, his potential and looked at the attitude and condition of His heart, believing in what David could be.
The woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears was a known sinner. Luke 7:36-50 (NIV) Most people would call her a woman of ill repute or a prostitute. She did not have a good reputation, and people had written her off as a no good hopeless sinner, unworthy of any consideration and compassion. However, Jesus was different and saw the best in her and who she was created to be, 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, quickly passing judgment and presuming and failing to look and see the best in people. We fail at the very thing for which we also have to be most grateful ourselves - that God sees the best in us and treating us with love and compassion and that all things are possible.
Jesus forgave the woman because He saw her best qualities when everyone else could only see her worst. Because of Jesus' compassion and reassurance, this woman chose to acknowledge that her lifestyle was not God's best for her and that she was of greater value than she or others had given her credit for. Jesus didn't condemn or lecture her on the error of her ways; He simply loved and welcomed her into his presence, which changed her life forever.
Today, Jesus is still the same, believing and looking for the best. 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 welcomes all who come to Him into His presence.
Plus, He wants us to imitate Him; to look for the best in ourselves and others. To believe for better, the seemingly impossible, miracles, and lives being transformed and changed. He hasn't changed, for "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Today, 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 see myself as you do and 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.