Have you ever thought about the fact that God sees you exactly as you are right now? Not as you were in the past, but how you are in this moment. This became real for me recently, as I heard a friend’s life story. I’ve known this person for a couple of years, and what I know is that this person is kind, creative and one whose life is a testimony to a strong faith in Christ. This friend is a joy to be around. Upon hearing this friend’s life story, I realized that what I knew was the present. This person’s past was quite different.
As I thought about what I had heard, I realized that living in the present also means loving in the present. I believe this is what God does. Just as I know this friend in the present, God knows me in the present. What I’ve done in the past, for good or bad, is not the way God sees me. It is as if God is meeting me for the first time at this very moment, just as I am right now.
How would my relationships with others be different if I saw them only as they were right now, if all memory of the past was gone? This is not an easy thing to do. It means that if a person hurt me or someone I love in the past, I am not to remember it, nor am I to be more pleasantly disposed to one who has been kind to me in the past. If God keeps no record of our wrongs, should I also strive to do likewise?
If I treat others as if I just met them, I will be courteous to them, because I would never be rude to someone I just met. If I make this a habit, then not only will I treat others in a more Christlike way, I will also be different as I practice hospitality and the absence of being influenced by prior interactions or knowledge of another. In that way, I will be more fully present in the present moment, not only to the person in front of me, but also to God.