For many years, Allen Funt’s Candid Camera television program delighted viewers by using a hidden camera to catch the often hilarious reactions of ordinary people to unexpected situations. Their approach, according to his son Peter was: “We believe people are wonderful, and we’re out to confirm it.” Peter feels the perspective of some other similar shows is that “people are stupid, and we’re going to find ways to underscore that.”
His comments point out that our view of people determines how we treat them.
The citizens of Jericho were offended when Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus the tax collector. “When they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner’” (Luke 19:7). Yet, when Zacchaeus had a deep change of heart (v.8), Jesus told him, “Today salvation has come to this house . . . for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (vv.9-10).
My friend Bob Horner says, “When we see people as losers, we treat them with contempt. When we see them as lost, we treat them with compassion.”
Jesus doesn’t see losers, only lost people He loves. When we look at others, who do we see?
For lost and wandering sheep,
That I may see the multitudes
And weep as You did weep. —Harrison