Do you have any idea how valuable you are to the kingdom of God? Probably not. I don’t think any of us do. And this is cause for celebration, not disappointment. We are bringing the kingdom of God to earth.
I don’t think we realize how big even small gestures can be. It comes down to how we treat people, and how we treat people comes down to how we view them. Do we focus on them? Do we learn their name and remember it as if we have just met a V.I.P. and would be tremendously embarrassed if we were caught asking for it a second time? Do we realize, when we are talking to anybody, just how valuable this person is?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Value is both intrinsic and something we place on a person. Here’s the requirement. It’s easy. One only has to be a human being to be a star. Short, fat, skinny, tall, perfect, deformed — it doesn’t matter what the package looks like; the gift is inside.
We may have to retrain ourselves because we’ve been learning from society, and society gets this wrong. It honors the outwardly beautiful — the strong, the attractive, the hip, the cool. The kingdom of God looks inward. The kingdom of God sees what is unseen.
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). That’s because the outward appearance is a temporary housing. It’s fading away. Someday we’ll see people as they really are. Pray to God you can see them that way now.
The Special Olympics is well-named. These people are special. It’s not the Handicapped Olympics, it’s the Special Olympics. Everyone’s special. Even the outwardly beautiful are special in a way that transcends their beauty. In fact their physical beauty is often a hindrance to what makes them truly special.
Think what we will look like when we all have new bodies — bodies that will be a true reflection of who we are inside. We need to ask God to help us see people this way — like He does.
Here’s what’s great about all this. Anybody can do it. It doesn’t take high intelligence or great spiritual insight to treat people with value. It takes faith to believe it, that God made us all in His image, and then the Spirit of God takes over. Start here, and the rest of what Grace Turned Outward means will unfold before you.