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WEEKLY REFLECTIONS

~ Through the Eyes of God ~

People do not counterfeit what is not valuable and desired. The existence of counterfeit Christians testifies to the veracity of the Christian faith and experience. People do not infiltrate as impostors communities or organizations that do not have power and influence. I heard many state, "I won't go to church and join all those hypocrites." Hypocrisy is a strong indicator of the presence of truth. There are no hypocrites or impostors in hell.

The aura of the Church is a mixture of the base and ugly and the heavenly and pure. Dentist officers reek with the smell of antiseptics, the noise of drills, and the faces of people grimacing their desire to be elsewhere. But all these are signs of healing and restoration.

Part of the holiness of the Church is its inclusion of sinners, of the bad and ugly. My sinful presence in heaven or in the Church on earth can be construed as defilement of the holy. Yet my injuries or illness do not defile the hospital I enter for healing and transformation. And I can grace hospital patients with my visits in health. The hospital staff serves the sick, although the health care servers have their own afflictions of body and mind.

Like hospitals, churches must be all inclusive. We do not need to be holy to enter them. We enter because we are not holy. Holiness cannot be achieved by our will or efforts. That state is a grace given by the Holy Spirit. He perceives our holiness while we see our ugliness. Only through His eyes we can perceive the holiness of others. Our own eyes filter it out, leaving us perceiving the ugliness in ourselves and others. We can pray to see ourselves and others as God sees us. His sight is pure and redemptive!

Bad people have their virtues. Saints have their deficits and sins. We are all connected. This connection is visible through spiritual eyes.

"He is alive not only heaven: He lives in our hearts. If your spiritual eyes are open and you look at a believer, you see Jesus enthroned in his heart, or, to change the figure, the believer himself lying at His bosom, safely wrapped in both arms of Jesus." [From Victorious Faith, by Richard Wurmbrand.]

Let me perceive everyone, everything, every event, through spiritual eyes. That vision is infused with the holiness of the Spirit. I don't want to see anyone or anything in any other way.

More from Wurmbrand: "Clement of Alexandria wrote, 'He who sees his brother, sees God.' This view put you at once far below every fellow Christian with whom you might disagree. See the Godhead in him and bow with respect, even if he should be the frailest Christian. He is the master, you are the slave. Some theologians believe that Lucifer's fall lay in his refusal to be a ministering angel for him. He had replied haughtily: 'Non serviam' (I do not serve).

"Against what are you righteously indignant? Against the sins of men? Sins of what gravity and of what number? Are they more and heavier than yours?"

Forgiveness is power. I can forgive those who have hurt me without their acceptance of my forgiveness. They have no say in the matter of my forgiving them. I pray they will receive it in joy, so my joy in forgiveness will be theirs. On the other end, I cherish the forgiveness of others who may hold something against me. Such power and gift bestows upon us all the grace of reconciliation and harmony, a condition of existence far more superior and welcomed than the harboring of animosity and resentment. Who would want to choose the latter over the former? Only someone who desires to live in hell on earth and beyond.

Among my greatest joys is the power of God's forgiveness, granted us through Christ whether or not we embrace it. Every morning, I thank my Creator for this gift and freedom. What a joyful way to begin my day!

John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
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