LESSONS FROM PEOPLE WATCHING

This morning as I sit in the airport, waiting to go visit my sister and her family, I’m people watching. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes. You can learn so much about the world and about others if you pause for a moment, take the focus off of yourself, and watch the world around you. The best part about people watching is seeing the diversity that exists in the world. You can see differences in ethnicity, clothing, music choice, hairstyles, mannerisms, religious views… and the list goes on. This is the beauty of humanity!

Often times we look at the differences and others and automatically assume different things. We jump to conclusions. We see someone wearing something that we wouldn’t be caught dead in and assume that we could never be friends. We learn that someone is a part of a certain friend group and jump to the conclusion that they just wouldn’t understand us. We discover that someone has a different religious view than us and buy into the lie and say, “they must not want anything to do with God.”

One of the things that God has been speaking to me over the past month is that He has created every person to long for something more. It’s part of our human nature. It’s built into our DNA.

So why do we assume that people don’t want anything to do with God? I think there are a couple of reasons:

1.     We hear it all of the time! We live in the information age. A lifetime of information comes across your phone or computer screen every single day. We hear and read good news, bad news, funny stories, sad stories, articles that build people up and articles that tear people down. But for some reason, we tend to focus on the negative things. With that being said, Christians will read stories of hatred towards their religion and assume that this worldview is accepted by anyone who doesn’t claim to be a Christ-follower. But this isn’t true. More times than not, we hear the extreme points of view

2.     We use it as an excuse. Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something simply because you didn’t really want to do it? You justified your reasoning through exaggerated facts (or lies) and decided that it’s just not worth it or that it’s pointless. I know I have. I think Christians do this on the daily. When we see someone in need (not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally) we justify our laziness and unwillingness to reach out by saying “they aren’t open to it.” So we continue on our own path and let the opportunity slip on by.

If there’s one thing you take away from this rambling, I hope it’s this: people are far more open to the Gospel than we give them credit for. We are doing a giant disservice to Christ when we assume that certain people just aren’t interested in hearing or seeing the love of Christ. Lost people are longing to be pursued. They may not know it and they may not say it, but they are. And we are meant to pursue them, just as God pursues them. It’s why we’re here on this big round planet called Earth.

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? How can we overcome our misconceptions on humanity and take steps to seeing the good news spread on the daily?