Have you ever talked with someone but felt like they didn’t really see you, or hear you? I think most of us have, even with people we are closest too. To “see” or “hear” someone is to value them. It is an acknowledgment of their worth.
Many people in the Bible experienced being “unseen” by people close to them. Joseph’s brothers couldn’t see his value, David wasn’t even acknowledged as his father’s son until Samuel insisted there must be another son of Jesse. And of course, Jesus, whose value wasn’t seen by most of the religious leaders of His day.
Recently, I walked away from a conversation with someone close to me thinking, this person doesn’t really see me. I had known this person all my life and what I felt in that moment wasn’t new. But this time, I understood the painful lack I felt in the relationship I had always wished was richer, and less superficial.
As I processed my disappointment, I realized four things:
- I had to accept that my expectation was one this person couldn’t fulfill.
- I had to address the self-pity churning inside me and chop off its ugly head.
- I realized this person couldn’t see me because they couldn’t truly see themselves. After all, we can only give what we have.
- I needed to see this person the way the Lord sees them – to shift the focus from what I wished I had to what that person needed.
So, instead of telling them of my unmet desires, I opted to encourage them about their value and the gifts God had given them. I chose to see them even if they didn’t see me. Doing so helped chop the head off the self-pity snake. Doing so brought us a little closer, which was my desire to begin with.
There are times to have honest conversations when resolving differences, but in other times we just need to forget about ourselves and focus on adding value to the other person. God helped me to see this person in a new light and I gained something greater than meeting my own need – I gained the joy of helping them see their own worth.
We are in a time when Jesus is bringing His Body together for greater Kingdom work in the earth, and to bring in the harvest. It is a time to see the person on the street the way God sees them, and to see our brothers and sisters (natural and spiritual) the way God sees them, too, and value the gift of who God made them to be.
The Apostle Paul said we are to be devoted to one another, honor one another, and to be concerned about the good of others. There is a normal expectation in relationships, especially within family (both natural and spiritual), of loving one another in a way that sees and values the other person. When that doesn’t happen, however, what do we do? We can choose to see them and respond accordingly. Doing so makes us like our Father whose name is El Roi – the God who sees. Doing so helps build bridges where hearts have felt alienated or ignored.
Love that sees others is the more excellent way.