As followers of Jesus, we always recognize that we are under the watchful eyes of people around us. People around us are watching closely to see if we really believe what we say we do or if we simply believe in some religious system. I believe that there are fair and unfair levels of scrutiny. Something I see very often is people scrutinizing others unfairly based on pet peeves or personal preferences rather than those things that are truly important–what is in their heart. This type of scrutiny is usually the basis for false rumors, gossip, and faultfinding. There is a parallel in the Gospel of Mark:
“Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.” ~~ Mark 3:1-2 (ESV)
Here, we find Jesus’ actions being scrutinized by the religious leaders (Pharisees). They simply consider him a threat and want to get rid of him. In the last chapter, they have been lying in wait just looking for reasons to condemn Him (Mark 2:1-12, 13-17, 18-22 and 23-28).
I find it funny that their anger drove them to break the very rules of the Sabbath that they were trying to “pin” on Jesus by plotting his murder.
On another level, in all of our personal, social and professional relationships, we must be careful not to apply unfair levels of scrutiny to a person lest we take away their respect. Sometimes we simply have personality conflicts which are not based on a reality of good or bad. Other times there are underlying jealousies, or we simply don’t agree on something. And there are simply times that people are just different from us. Why do we translate being different as “wrong”? It’s times like these that we often lay in wait for the person to do something we don’t like so we can pounce on them. What is funny to me is that often we forgive the same transgression in ourselves or people we “like”. The key is, learn to discern what is in someone’s heart and do not judge based on pet peeves, differences and personal preferences. Avoid problem gathering where we record and forget basic human respect.
I believe we are all “unique”–not different. When we see people for what is in their hearts, we see with God’s eyes.
Again, as followers of Jesus, we must always recognize that we are under the watchful eyes of people around us. People around us are watching closely to see if we really believe what we say we do or if we simply believe in some religious system.
When we LIVE our faith daily and wrestle through our humanity, we draw a crowd of people that want what we have–Jesus. We become a witness to God’s truth and power by our robust living (worshiping God and serving people) and humility. Curious watchers become eager listeners.
All these truths we are living come from Jesus–now that’s something we can share!