6.26.2008

Been thinking...

you are beautiful

Are we to look at other Christians as Christians or human beings first?

How does this affect our perception of others?

12 comments:

Jacob said...

It occurred to me that perhaps, on some kind of poetic level, one is not truly human apart from fellowship with Christ. Not that a non-Christian less worthy of respect or being treated with dignity, but as a slave to sin, you do not experience true liberty.

Just a thought...

nic pfost said...

to approach it from a practical level:

i think the problem with seeing others by their labels first is that it often creates unfair expectations.

like, "he's a christian so i can expect him to not [insert typical behavior]".

or, "she's a lesbian so i can't expect her to understand real love."

or whatever. it's better if we're all just humans.

though do i have to concede the poetic beauty of jacob's point.

Luz said...

interesting.

i would probably think a little bit differently, jacob, in that i think at the starting point, everyone is a real human being. trusting in jesus makes you more real. (in the similar vein that lewis describes heaven as being more real than the world as we know it now)

nic, i think this is where this thought started. ...seeing that i fragment my relationships with expectations.

stephanie said...

Well, you can't be a Christian without being human. (My cell phone is not a Christian.)

You can't always tell for sure which humans are truly Christians.

What we know is that to be human is to live and move and have our being in Christ - whether we follow him or not.

Maybe we should stick with what we know.

And I know that that's easier said than done. ;)

stephanie said...

PS Beautiful photo (literally)! Where was it taken?

Luz said...

steph, i always appreciate your input. guess there's a point where our knowledge and application collide...

the picture was taken in chicago. i can't remember which building specifically was under construction, but it's some major broadcaster.

My name is April. said...

Why does it have to be either or? Why can't it be both and?

Sorry, I just had to throw that in :)

I knew i recognized the photo!!!

I've been struggling lately with prejudging people. I'm not proud of it. But I feel like I allow my first impressions of people to stay for too long and I end up writing people off just by a comment, or by their clothing, or by their association. I don't even know much about them! And I've been trying to remind myself of our humanity, of the fact that we are all deep individuals, and that we all do exist together as equals. This is so much easier to think about than to practice.
I was reading Provers 20 the other day (actually on June 20th) and it says "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?" I wrote this out and I read it every day. If I am wise, I will remember that no matter what the person looks like, says, smells like, or calls themself--they have purpose in their heart. And if I say I am loving, then I best be faithful and loving, otherwise I should be ashamed of myself.

I hope this makes sense. Sorry, it's longer than I expected. Maybe this should have been in email form.

iamchanelle said...

i always try to look at everyone as a human first. no preconceived expectations, no judgements, no fears. doesn't God see us all as humans in need of Him, whether we've accepted that or not? of course, as Christians, we have standards - but as humans, we're gonna fail those standards more often than not. not my place to judge, but to love and encourage people instead - christian or no.
that's just how i roll, anyway.
;)

iamchanelle said...

oh, and p.s. -

didn't jesus come to save all the non-christians?

phew, good thing he didn't come down here looking for all the good ones only.

;)

Jen said...

I have to agree with the fact that we are first human and should be seen in that light. As christians our standard should be different how we see, love others (all people). Something I am working on. And as believers we have a common thread but we are all in need of love. As a christian isn't my life suppose to reflect the love, grace and mercy I have been shown to all people. So I think that makes us human beings before any other label we might be given.

Jacob said...

In the words of Calvin, Our basic principle must always be that, whatever a person may be like, we must still love him, because we love God.

Food for further thought....

Luz said...

these are all excellent thoughts. thanks, everyone for contributing! lots of good stuff to chew on for a bit...