Who do you see when you look at someone else?
The image you see will depend on the quality of the lens you are using. Unless it is a high quality lens, a very expensive lens, the view will likely be distorted in one-way or another and not give you a clear or accurate image. That distorted image will then affect your response to yourself or the other person based on faulty information.
Our lens can be flawed from multiple sources. Sometimes the marring comes from bias or prejudice we were taught or caught before we ever knew what those words meant. Sometimes the lens is scratched from wounds we received from abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Sometimes things that have been said to us or said about us that were hurtful and harmful cloud the lens. Too often, we do not see the imperfections in the lens just as many who wear glasses seem oblivious to the dust, fingerprints, and smudges on their glasses.
There is a great deal of evidence that suggests when we fail to see ourselves accurately, we cannot really see anyone else accurately because we project onto them our own distortions. That makes it hard to love, accept, trust, or enjoy anyone else because we secretly have difficulty loving, accepting, trusting, or enjoying ourselves. We simply cannot give what we do not own.
Where do we get a high quality lens?
I know of only one source that can supply what we need. It comes from looking at ourselves and others through what we read and see in the Word. That informs us of grace-filled truth and truth is what produces the clearest lens and the most accurate image. The result is that I can look at you and myself through rose-colored glasses.
Most people would say that sounds like a faulty lens where things are depicted in ways that do not fit at all with reality. Rose-colored glasses are something we are chided about using because the phrase indicates we are not looking at things the way they truly are. Is that really the answer?
The rose-colored glasses we all need are the most expensive lenses ever created and the only ones that can give us perfect images. We could not afford them. Only God could purchase them for us. These are lenses stained with the blood of the One who sees us as we truly are and yet loves and accepts us. God looks at us through the blood of the cross, the blood that cost Him more than anything else, the perfect sacrifice of love and forgiveness.
When we use these lenses, we can see others and ourselves through loving forgiveness even as He sees us. That doesn’t distort reality. It corrects what only He can accomplish.