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. I believe that there are fair and unfair levels of scrutiny. Something I see very often is people scrutinizing others unfairly on the basis of 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.
Mark 3:1-2 (TNIV)
1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
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, it is clear that 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 Jesus’ murder.
On another level, in all of our personal, social and professional relationships we must be careful not apply unfair levels of scrutiny to a person lest we take away their respect. Sometimes we simply have personality conflicts which in no way are based in a reality of good or bad. Sometimes there are underlying jealousies, or we simply don’t agree on something. Sometimes people are just different from us…..why should that be translated as “wrong”? It’s times like these that we often find ourselves lying in wait for the person to do something wrong so we can pounce on them. What is funny to me….is that often the very reasons we criticize these people, we forgive either 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 faults are recorded and respect is forgotten.
I believe that we are all “unique”…..not different. When we start seeing people for what is in their hearts…we start to 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 that we are living come from Jesus…..now that’s something we can share!