Martin Luther taught in simple, yet powerful ways. For instance, Luther’s own favorite book he ever wrote was The Small Catechism. Simple straightforward teachings on the ways of God. His Ten Commandment teachings are genius. Not just in what he said, but how he said it.
When he wrote on the Ten Commandments, Luther uses a teaching technique where he takes the commandments, which are stated in the negative, “Thou shalt not” in other words, and he explains it in the positive instead.
Take the first commandment, for instance. “You shall have no other gods.”
That’s the negative. No other gods. How does Luther say it in the positive?
“We are to fear, love and trust God above all things.”
In other words, Luther gives us what we should do, as well as stating the commandment, which tells us what we shouldn’t do.
Again, genius. Which brings me to his most powerful teaching on the commandments of all, when it comes to seeing others through God’s eyes.
First, let’s review.
My purpose in God’s plan is to be the person God made me to be.
When I am operating in God’s Kingdom doing his Kingdom work, I can act like myself.
When I act like myself, I move from me to we.
The way I move from me to we is by seeing others the way God sees them. Then I have God’s attitude about others.
Here’s God’s attitude. People are created by God the Master artist, and so every person is a masterpiece in the eyes of God.
So, what does Luther teach that is so genius about seeing people through the eyes of God? It is his teaching on the Eighth Commandment.
The Eight Commandment
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What does this mean?
“We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tells lies about out neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations.
Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.”
Now do you see what I mean when I say you will know you are on the path of seeing people through the eyes of God when you do the exact opposite of what the world does when you are dealing with other people?
In other words, if you are not interpreting everything other people do in the best possible light, you are not seeing people through the eyes of God. You are not treating his masterpiece with gentleness and respect. You are working against God and you are not living in his Kingdom.
Luther is a genius. You can’t say it any simpler than that.
The last phrase summarizes it all.
‘I am to interpret everything someone else does in the best possible light.’
Yes, that is what it means to see others through the eyes of God.
Try to go one day interpreting every person you come across in the best possible light. Were you able to do it? No, try again. Yes? OK, try another day…