Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Written by: Precious Ohanson
What a weird topic right? Okay, let’s take a closer look. What do glasses do for you? The type of glasses you get determines what purpose it has come to serve in your life. Some people get medically prescribed glasses that enhances their vision. Some get sunglasses that helps to protect their eyes from the sun. Others get fashionable glasses that accessorizes their outfit. No matter the kind of glasses you get, they all have one thing in common: lenses, to see through. Different lenses give different perspectives depending on who is wearing them. Our orientation to the world is greatly impacted by our individual view, yet we all get frustrated at times when others are seemingly not doing what we think they should be doing.
Let me tell you a story. There was a man who had a dog for 15 years named Puffy. Puffy was a very energetic dog; however, the owner felt that Puffy was not very smart. This is because every time the owner would walk him, take him to the park or play with him around the house, Puffy would always bump into things and was extremely clumsy. It frustrated the owner why this dog wouldn’t just watch where he was going! The owner loved Puffy so much that he chose to overlook his flaws. One day Puffy got so sick that the doctor had to put him down. After performing an autopsy on Puffy, the doctor asked him how he was able to cope with a blind dog for 15 years. The owner was astonished as he didn’t know Puffy had been blind. After further conversations, he found out that Puffy wasn’t dumb after all, he was clumsy because he had been blind from birth despite his eyes were open. The owner cried so much as he remembered how this dog despite not being able to see, woke up every morning to greet him and was always excited to start a new day. He wished he didn’t curse at Puffy in those little moments when he got frustrated. He wished he would have provided things to aid Puffy in his disability had he known. He could now see that Puffy did the best he could in his condition.
Seeing things only in our own way can make us to become self-righteous. The religious leaders in the bible challenged Jesus for various things such as choosing to heal the sick on the sabbath day, dinning with sinners and tax collectors and for when His disciples did not fast when others did so. They did this because they had become self-righteous and thought their way was the supreme way of how things should be done. They showed no empathy for the sick or hungry.
Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV)
Hebrews 4:15 says,
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.
One of the things that breaks self-righteousness is Empathy. Empathy towards others. Empathy drove Jesus to feed people, dine with the “outcast” of society and heal people on seemingly “forbidden days.”
Ephesians 5:1 calls us to be imitators of Christ, Luke 6:36 tells us to be merciful just as God is merciful and Ephesians 4:32 admonishes us to be kind and tenderhearted to one another. The year 2020 has been a challenging one for us all and it breaks my heart to see that it also exposed how we can tend to lack empathy towards others.
Let’s learn to empathize with one another and meet people right where they are without having unrealistic expectations because this brings disappointments. If the dog owner had known his dog was blind he wouldn’t have had unrealistic expectations of what other dogs were doing that his dog was not. He would have just met his dog right where he was in his condition. Where one person falls short in their weakness, we can make up for it with our strength and vice versa.
David, whom God called a man after His own Heart, asked God:
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)
I leave you with words from a song of Keith Green, an American Pianist and Songwriter. He wrote a letter to the Lord and since he didn’t know where to mail it to, he put it in his bible. In the letter, he told God to do something about his heart because it was starting to harden up. He asked God to give him a heart like a baby all over again. He said his heart had become callous and it’s not due to things that he was doing but it was because of things that he was not doing. These are some of the lines a song of his:
Oh Lord, please light the fire, that once burned bright and clear. Replace the lamp of my first love, that burns with Holy fear.
I want to take your word and shine it all around, but first help me just to live it Lord. And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown. For my reward is giving glory to you.