Have you ever used Swype? The predictive text technology has its pros and cons, but is hard for me to resist using when I write a message on a smartphone or tablet.
As those who have used this technology know, it sometimes replaces intended words with unintended words. Funny becomes gunny, stay becomes stray, pool becomes pill … you get the idea.
A while back, I was reading a book and taking notes on things I wanted to remember and refer back to later. A point came up in my reading that showed that we as humans tend to judge others harshly and are quick to criticize. I recognized this as a fault in me that I wanted to change, so I Swyped a simple note into my smartphone for me to “look for the good in others,” and then continued to read.
A few minutes later, I proceeded to make another note in my phone and noticed that Swype had changed “look for the good in others” to “look for the God in others.” As I proceeded to fix the note, I paused a second and realized that there was a lesson in this typo.
I pondered the thought of God being in others, and of God being in me.
The scriptures tell us that God created man and woman in His own image. This means that not only are we made in His physical image (arms, legs, mouth, nose, etc.), but also in His image in other ways, such as personality, talents, and all other good human traits.
Though we live in a flawed and imperfect world with flawed and imperfect people, within each of us is a small part of God — a seed, if you will — that’s good and lovely. Some of us embrace that seed and nurture it into a full-blown tree, while others push the seed down until it’s no longer visible.
Though some have pushed it down or have failed to nurture it does not erase the fact that it’s there. Peel back the layers of anger, hurt, or whatever else has caused them to bury their Godly seed and you’ll find it, nestled in the corner of their pain waiting and wanting to grow.
Ultimately, each of us must decide what to do with the part of God that’s within us. However, I believe there’s something we can all do to help bring out the God in others. An encouraging word, a smile, a listening ear, an act of kindness; these are things we can do and share to help each other along life’s path.
As I’ve looked for the God in others since that experience with Swype, I’ve realized that there’s good (and God) in everyone that I’ve personally interacted with — every one of them. I have to look deeper and longer with some more than others, but it’s always there.
I encourage you, in your efforts to look for the God in others, to look with more patience, kindness, tolerance, and understanding. You’ll let the God that’s in you grow and flourish when you do.