Looking for gold

Looking_For_GoldWhat do you think would happen if we asked the Lord what good thing He sees in every person we came into contact with?

I’m talking about the people we work with, go to school with, live with…they sit next to us on the plane…they are the people who irritate us in the grocery store.

What if we looked past the human dirt and searched for the gold?

When I say, gold, I’m not just talking about seeing the good in people. I’m talking about seeing the Father’s intention for them and calling it forth.

I’ve noticed that this is what Jesus did all the time, especially with the throwaway people of His day. His culture saw dirt; He saw gold.

Jesus was always in the moment, always looking through His Father’s eyes, seeing past their woundedness, their failures, disappointments and cynicism. He was ever calling them up instead of out, bringing them heaven’s light in the midst of their darkest hell.

Can we see past what we see and dare to look into God’s high calling for them?  I’m asking myself this because most of the time I’m not doing so well at it. Most of the time I’m not even thinking this way.

What would you and I have done in Jesus’ strict Jewish culture with those we were supposed to shun? Would we have even talked to the Samaritan woman–a five-time divorcée who was currently shacking up with her boyfriend? What would we have said to her as a devout first century Jew under the Law of Moses?

How would you and I have handled that word of knowledge about her current marital state? Would it be used to expose her darkness and bring shame or reveal light and bring freedom and destiny?

Jesus chose to reveal light and a whole city was won over to Him (John 4:1-42). Just a thought.

How would you and I have handled the woman caught in adultery in a culture where our Law demands she be stoned? (Lev.20:10; John 8:1-12). Would we use it to bring life or bring death?

Would we have picked a culturally despised tax collector like Levi to change the world, calling out who he was before he was?

Would you and I have fully accepted and loved the very man who we knew would betray us?

It’s easy to read these stories with biblical hindsight, through our cultural lens 2,000 years after the fact. We applaud His grace for these throwaways. But I wonder how I would’ve responded in the same situations.

I also wonder if Jesus would even be accepted in many of our churches behaving like this. Would He be accepted in my church?

After all, this is what His own people said of Him, “‘Here is a gluttonous man, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” (Matt.11:19).

Of course, Jesus also looked past the religious veneer of His day and saw hypocrisy and malice in the people who were supposed to be representing His Father’s Kingdom (Matt.23). What would He say to the religious veneer of our day?

My point is this. What if we weren’t so much like fruit inspectors, but more like prospectors panning for gold?

I really appreciate what Kris Vallotton has brought to the prophetic community in this regard. As he says, anyone can see people’s junk. That takes no prophetic insight whatsoever. What takes Holy Spirit revelation is calling out their potential in Christ.

What takes prophetic insight is calling out the gold still hidden in their dirt.

Something else Kris Valloton said. “The Cross is a value statement. Only a fool pays such a high price for nothing. We’ve been been seeing God through the wrong lens.”

We have been evaluating people through the wrong lens. We need to see through our Father’s eyes, though His evaluation. For He paid the highest price for those people we so easily condemn and dismiss. He thought every person in this world was worth Jesus (John 3:16). And if the Father places such high value on them, who are we to diminish that value?

So, I return to my original question. Can you and I do what Jesus did all the time–that is, can we look past the human dirt and search out the precious gold in people?

What would happen if we asked the Lord what good thing He sees in every person we came into contact with?

Just some thoughts I’ve been processing lately.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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12 Responses to Looking for gold

  1. paulfg says:

    “What if we weren’t so much like fruit inspectors, but more like prospectors panning for gold?”
    Mel what a delicious post! Thank you!!
    I am reminded of that popular phrase “what would Jesus do” – and increasingly for me that is morphing into “what does God see”. The “doing” is the easy bit – so often wrapped up in should and must and duty – a job – but separated ever so subtly from “being”.
    Someone said last night we are called human beings, not human doings (apparently it is not a new phrase – but is to me). It got me thinking along with your post today.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Paul. I did a whole teaching series awhile back on “What would Jesus actually Do?” It was along same lines you’re talking about. What Jesus actually did was abide in His Father and see through His eyes. Like you said, we’ve turned it into trying to imitate Jesus, or worse, make it a Christian obligation or job. So, yes, let’s just be who we are, living from our Father’s embrace.

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    Love your thoughts 😃 Just haven’t quite crossed that bridge to walking them out ALL the time (well okay, not even close to all the time!) It’s funny how I can hold these values so dear and pretty much always seek to hear and declare His heart when I’m praying for someone, but if I were to run across that same person in different circumstances (particularly if those circumstances bothered or inconvenienced me in some way) I’m not always quite so quick to see the person from His perspective. I probably usually get there eventually, but it would be nice if seeing with His eyes was always my first response. A work in progress I suppose… Thanks for asking some great thought-provoking questions!

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re welcome and thanks. Yup, we’re all a work in progress. This dichotomy in my own experience is just downright painful to think about sometimes. But progress is first thinking such things at all! And God is so good. He lets us take a test to see how far we’ve progressed whenever we’re around people who really irritate us. At least I’m starting to learn that grace works both ways. 🙂

  3. Lydia Thomas says:

    This is very much what God has been teaching me lately – seeing people the way He does. Thanks for posting!

  4. 2 Cor. 5:16 is good for this. Regarding no one after the flesh. Hard to do but abiding in Him gives us those eyes.

  5. waltsamp says:

    Your church likes to celebrate so I thought I would suggest that your church develop a forty-day celebration from Easter Sunday to Ascension Day. It seems to me Lent gets things wrong. A forty-day commemoration of the Crucifixion and a one-day celebration of the Resurrection seems to get things backwards. When Jesus was earth those forty days he did not go around talking about his death but the great event that had occurred in his return to life for the blessing of all those who would believe in him.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I totally agree with you! We do get it backwards. We’re not on the gloomy side of the Cross anymore. We need to celebrate that not only is Christ risen, but we were raised with Him! Christianity is about the resurrection life, not the crucifixion death. The crucifixion was the means to the greater end. It demonstrates the Father’s great love for us. Thanks for your comments. Blessings.

  6. Our world would look like a much different place if we looked for the good inside of people instead of the stuff that is easy to judge. It always helps me to remember how merciful and gracious God has been to me in my own messes of life so that I can show the same grace to others. I can only imagine how much of a better place our world would be if we only took the time to look at people the way that God does!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. Great point, Anna. We must remember that grace goes ways. That’s the beginning of seeing them the way God sees them. And when we receive His love, we begin to see His love in others.

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