If you rewound your life and then lived it again exactly the way it unfolded the first time, would you be who and where you are today? If the physical laws of the universe apply to such a situation, and let’s assume they do, then the answer is an emphatic YES!
Now, let’s apply this to someone else you know. To make it more fun, choose someone who irritates you or whom you don’t like very much. We don’t often think about how the details of someone’s past influence who they are today, but if we knew their traumas, shattered dreams and failures and then realize that if we were to rewind their lives and play them back again exactly the same, these people would still be precisely who they are today.
They are who they are destined to be. You are who you are destined to be.
It’s so easy to hate those who challenge us. Most of us want the people who anger and hurt us to be removed from our lives. We fantasize about how much easier it would be without them making our lives miserable. The hard truth is that these people play a vital role in our spiritual, mental and emotional growth. They provide struggle for us in the same way a newly formed butterfly must struggle to exit the pupa on its own if it’s to thrive in its next stage of life.
The Least of These
Jesus offered a way for us to exquisitely reframe our perspective on the way we look at “the least of these”. He knew about our propensity to judge others without understanding them, without knowing what the ‘rewind’ of their lives looks like. He called us to see the face of Christ when we look at them.
What could that possibly mean?! Was Christ stinky, belligerent and a failure? Now we’re getting somewhere…
Are you familiar with the concept that you have two natures? On the one hand we have our flesh or our ego, it’s the part of us that is reactive, judgy and totally out of touch with God. On the other hand, our soul or human spirit is the part of us that’s completely connected with God. It’s the part of us that loves unconditionally and exhibits peace and kindness. It’s the part of us that’s Christ-like.
When Jesus challenged us to see Christ in the ones that seem unlovable, he was asking us to see their souls. Your ego can’t connect with someone else’s soul. Only souls can connect with each other, but before you can see the face of Christ in someone else, you need to make sure you are seeing it when you look in the mirror. Then you’ll know you are connected to your spirit and ready to unconditionally love others and learn what they can teach you.
If you’re finding yourself being judgy and reactive towards someone, it’s a sure sign that you’re not currently operating from your soul. You need to know how to shift out of your ego and into your soul. Maybe you need to pray, take a walk, talk to someone life-giving, get creative, rest or read. Knowing what works for you is vitally important if you’re truly committed to seeing Christ in others. Holy Spirit loves to guide people in this, all you have to do is ask.
May you be blessed to the face of Christ when you look in the mirror.