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Here's Looking at You, Christian
by Donna Morton
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My husband and I have a friend who got into a scuffle with a guy who later became a famous country music singer. Legally, I don’t think I can reveal the singer’s name, but you would probably recognize it even if you don’t favor the Nashville sound. Yep, he’s that big of a star.

Oh, the altercation wasn’t recent. It happened years ago, when they were lean, mean and seventeen, hanging out with their respective buddies at a miniature golf course. The trouble began with a conversation between our friend and the future star that went something like this:

“What are YOU looking at?”

“What am I looking at? What are YOU looking at?”

Evidently, them’s fightin’ words. I recently told the story to another friend who couldn’t resist a nostalgic laugh. Recalling his own reckless youth, he admitted to getting into a half dozen tussles that started with the same words.

I asked my husband what it is about guys and being “looked at”. He said it starts with someone shooting you the evil eye, therefore implying that they’ve got some unspoken issue with you. “What are YOU looking at?” is another way of saying “What’s YOUR problem?”

Well then, guys don’t corner the market on this “looking” thing. Women don’t like it, either. For us, I think it goes back to junior high when one clique of girls in the cafeteria would stare down another clique of girls.

“What’s THEY’RE problem?” The looked-at ones would sneer as they simultaneously applied roll-on lip gloss and launched Jell-O cubes from a fork. “Stop LOOKING at us!”

Ah, we grow up and ditch the ammo, but we still don’t like being looked at, unless we’re doing something where we should be or want to be seen. But boy, if someone looks at us—and we don’t think they have a valid reason to—we’re quick to assume there is a negative thought behind it.

Facial expressions speak volumes and if someone’s “look” is indicative of unflattering thoughts…well, the inner and the outer are probably in harmony.

If you’re a Christian who is open about their faith, you’ve likely been “looked at” in ways that didn’t please you. Maybe you were met with disinterest or glared at with disgust. You might have been pierced with hostility or gazed at with amusement. Perhaps annoyance was the look that flashed your way.

What do we do when someone is “looking at us” like that? Well, we can’t swat them with our church bulletin, that’s for sure, but we can follow the example of Jesus.

Can you imagine the “looks” Jesus must have gotten during His earthly ministry?! Did He ever turn to someone in the crowd and shout, “Hey—guy in the brown robe—what are YOU looking at?!”

Though I’d wager such never happened, scripture teaches that Jesus didn’t shrink away from “the look.” From the Book of John (NIV), here are some examples of how Jesus responded to those who rejected, questioned or grumbled about His ministry:

“’If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? ‘” (8:46)

“’Why is my language not clear to you?’” (8: 43)

“’The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.’” (John 6: 63-64)

“’These are the scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’” John 5: 39-40

“’Does this offend you?’” 6:61

Perhaps we, too, should request an explanation for someone’s negative reaction to our faith. With a sincere and gentle approach, we might say, “My faith seems to make you uncomfortable. {Or angry, defensive, whatever applies.} If you’ve got questions, I’d like to try to answer them. I’d be happy to tell you why I believe as I do.”

They might scoff, snort, faint from shock—or they might open up, if not at the moment then maybe later. Handled correctly, this can be an effective way to turn someone’s eyes to Christ.

There are plenty of people who have a problem with us because we’re Christians. Sadly, a deeper problem lies in their heart—and it has the potential to become an eternal problem.

Jokingly, our friend says he would have never taken swings at the future star had he know how big he’d later become. Seriously, people would never take swings at Christ if they knew how big He already is.

Let’s get them looking at HIM.

©Donna G. Morton August 2008

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
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LauraLee Shaw 07 Nov 2008
Well done!!!! This piece was chosen to be highlighted in the “Cheering Section” of the Faithwriters’ Message Boards. Congratulations! Click here to see yours and the others that were selected this week: General Submissions JEWEL CHEST
Dee Yoder  03 Nov 2008
This is excellent writing and a thought-provoking and unique devotional! I've not given too much thought to how we perceive "looks" but immediately recognized some defensive moves on my part from your descriptions. What an awesome way to witness and that last sentence--well--it's a powerful truth!


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