This (below) is my dog. I find him irresistibly cute. We may disagree on that, but maybe we can agree on the object lesson he unwittingly presented to me today.
If he were human, I think he’d be having a no-good, very-bad day! Why? Because he has a blemish right smack on top of his nose. His skin is scraped up from sniffing along uneven surfaces this weekend. If he were human, wouldn’t he want to edit the first photo and forbid me to post the second? He’d probably be feeling ‘ugly’ and ‘unworthy’ and it would likely affect his mood all day. (Thankfully, he’s a dog and seems blissfully unaware!)
Tell me honestly, did you even notice it in the first image? We tend to zoom out to look at others, thereby causing imperfections to fade into the total picture. But when we look in the mirror at ourselves, we zoom in on our flaws until they are all we see. And we forget it is the same for almost everyone. We go about our day assuming everybody is focused on our glaring blemishes while seeing themselves in wide angled splendor.
On the flipside…
Isn’t our tendency often the opposite when it comes to character? Can’t we be hyper-critical about the downfalls of others while over-excusing our own? And then we project our view as the norm, supposing everyone should see their obvious shortcomings but generously overlook ours. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
The Bible tells us how God views us:
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:6b
Can we make a two-fold pact today? Since it’s what God does, let’s zoom out a bit in regard to our physical appearance and zoom in on matters of our integrity. I know that, personally, if I’m courageous enough to be fully accountable and address what I find in my own heart, I won’t have time to fixate anywhere else.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16-18