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     But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. 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 Sam. 16:7

     He (Jesus) took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ”Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:23-25

Dear Lord Jesus, as someone who’s needed the benefit of vision correction most of my life, this Scripture reminds me that the eyes of my heart have needed vision correction all of my life.

Even if I could see with 20/15 or 20/10 vision, if I’m only focusing on the “outward appearance” of people and things, I’m still not seeing as you intend. My plea? Heal the eyes of my heart, Jesus, so I can see you more clearly; and as I see more of you, help me see everything and everyone else from your perspective.

     Help me to see people with gospel eyes, Jesus. Help me to see their dignity, beauty, and your image in them; not primarily the things that irritate, bore, or inconvenience me. Help me to see what you see in my spouse, my children, and my friends—even in total strangers. Don’t let me merely see people as trees walking around.

     Help me to see creation with gospel eyes. Jesus, don’t let me look at the oceans and mountains, stars and clouds, sunrises and sunsets, flora and fauna—or even weather patterns, just in terms of my plans and druthers. Enable me to live more as a worshipful steward of your creation and less as a selfish consumer of the things you have made.

     Help me to see pain and suffering through the lens of the gospel. Jesus, sometimes when I look at all the crucibles, crises, and cruel stories of life, it makes me want to run and hide, fix or deny. When overwhelming need and hard providences are staring me down, help me to see your hand and heart at work. So very Amen I pray, in your powerful and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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