1 John 4:8 (NIV)
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The teacher held up a blank sheet of paper and asked, "What do you see?"
All the hands in her class went up. One reasonably bright child said, "I see a piece of paper." So far, so good. Then the teacher took a pencil and made a tiny dot in the center of the sheet of paper. Holding it up again she asked, "And what do you see now?" Without waiting to be called on, the same student, completely confident of giving the right answer, yelled out, "I see a dot!"
"Really?" Asked the teacher. Then she explained. "Imagine the blank piece of paper is a person. Now imagine this small dot is his biggest sin. When you looked at the paper with the dot on it, what did you see? You said, 'I see a dot.' That one dot overshadowed all the white still left on the paper. Is that what you do when you look at people? Do you only see their faults?"
I wonder if the kids picked up on that lesson.
There are times when that is exactly what we do.
We have all met some truly excellent people in this life, but all we sometimes have seen were their faults. Those faults made us lose track of the person.
That's sad for them; it's sadder for us.
As we read through Scripture, we can notice the Lord doesn't do that.
No, He doesn't ignore our "dots," that is, our sins. How could He? There were so many sinful dots on our souls the paper itself was black. Even so, the Father sent His Son into this world to erase those sins and make our souls white as, well, white as paper. God saw our sins, but He didn't let those sins overshadow His love for us.
He sees us clearly, and because of what Jesus has done for us with His life, death, and resurrection, the Father now sees us as forgiven, clean, white, and free from sin.
It's a different point of view -- one that all of us would do well to embrace when we look at others.
Dear Lord, thank You for erasing our flaws and making us a forgiven sinner, washed clean by Your blood. Help us to love others, and not write them off as unacceptable and unusable. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.