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August 28, 2020 - Children of God

You can be happy alone. You win a game, you get a promotion, you feel big about yourself. Happiness is the expansion of self. But joy is the merger of self. It is a kind of thing that happens when you forget where you end and something else begins, when you really are seeing deeply into each other.

David Brooks, "Finding the Road to Character", BYU Speeches, October 22, 2019

I really enjoyed this talk. David Brooks, I don't think is a member, but this talk focused on truly seeing another person.

For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. - 1 Sam 16:7

This verse takes on a whole new meaning when you really internalize it and ponder it.

Don't pay attention to how someone appears. We tend to do that a lot with the onslaught of social media, especially. It doesn't help that the poster (the person doing the posting, not what hangs on the wall of teenagers), is trying many times to either outdo someone else, to seem superior, or they want to appear better than they really are.

It also doesn't help that the postee, the one reading the poster's post, either takes offense where it may not be intended (because you can't see body language online) or suddenly feels inferior and therefore posts something himself to again feel superior. And the cycle repeats.

My point is, try to see someone, I mean truly see them, as a child of God. Not as someone who automatically triggers a bias because of outside influences, like society, the news, politics, or your environment. Easier said than done though. Look into their heart, as God does. See their potential, not as they appear, and certainly not their deficiency of character, or your perceived deficiency in their character.

Their divine potential is there, whether or not they want to live up to it. So I try now to focus on that. It's hard to do. And that includes myself. How do I see myself? Do I see my own potential or focus on my shortcomings?

I need to remember always, that I am a son of God. Everyone is a child of God. I need to see them as such.

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