Look for the Good
"Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable ... dwell on these things."
Philippians 4:8b HCSB
This week, I was at the coast, writing in a rustic gazebo looking out at the water. Heaven!
Across the smooth blue ripples of the intracoastal waterway, houses dotted the tree line of Atlantic Beach Island.
Bright green lawn at my feet, chirping birds in nearby trees, and the excited chatter of a small boy and his mother swinging on the playground soothed my senses.
Fresh salt air filled my lungs and the flavors of chamomile tea and honey lingered on my tastebuds.
For a full fifteen minutes, I'd been so enamored with the stunning view, that I hadn't seen the flaws right in front of me.
Then I spotted a cigarette butt on the railing. Shortly after seeing it, I spied an empty McDonalds cup to my left.
Then I looked around, like a Where's Waldo game to find blemishes among the beauty.
The corner of a lost paper stuck up between the floorboards. A missing picket left a gaping hole in the railing. And the wooden boards of the picnic table were weathered and warped.
For the longest time, I'd reveled in the good things surrounding me and hadn't even noticed those little imperfections.
Why focus on them now?
And that got me thinking -- this is exactly what I need to do when I see a PERSON.
Look for the GOOD!
Notice a welcoming smile, a cheerful outlook, or cute shoes.
Sometimes we struggle to get past a depressing frown, a grumpy attitude, or ratty clothing.
To find the good, let's keep looking. Let's play Where's Waldo's Highlights.
Notice the rich, beautiful color of hair even if it needs a trim.
Recognize hope in a sad expression, muscular arms under a dirty t-shirt, or the lilting voice behind a curse word.
Looking for the good requires a heart that sees every human being as created in the image of God.
That's how God looks at us -- His children. He sees the beauty, the goodness, and the potential in us.
When we sin, disobey, or turn away from Him, He sees our hurting hearts and yearns to draw us beneath His wings to comfort us. He longs to help us turn back to Him where He can heal us from our sins.
Let's look at others the way God looks at us. Let's look for the good!
"Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good." Romans 12:9 CEV
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