Growing up I never learned how to open my eyes underwater. So when I played water games with my friends, like diving for toys, I would squeeze my eyes shut and flail my arms blindly on the pool floor. Most of the time I ran out of air, gave up and returned to the surface in defeat.
And then my parents got me a pair of electric-blue goggles. What was once dark, vast and nebulous instantly became approachable and fun. Putting on those goggles opened my eyes to see underwater in a new way.
Having spiritual conversations with someone can feel like diving without goggles. You feel the pressure in your chest, you’re fumbling around without really knowing where you’re going. But when you put on gospel goggles, the murky water of spiritual conversations suddenly becomes clear.
Putting on gospel goggles refers to the practice of training ourselves to see the world through the lens of the gospel. God’s good news changes everything, and it especially changes how we see the people in our lives.
How has the gospel changed the way you see people? For me, it’s changed my view of people in four important ways.
1. From “inconvenient” to “loved by God”
I’m not really a people person. When I’m not at my best, I see people as “in my way” — an annoyance. I like space to myself, and other people feel like intrusions in that space.
The gospel, however, reminds me that God loves the people in my life dearly. He became a human being to empathize with us, suffer with us, spend time with us. He sacrificed his time and space to be in a relationship with us. When I look through this lens, I see people as God’s treasure, uniquely made by him and loved by him.
2. From “out to get me” to “broken by sin”
I used to think of people as purposely doing bad things because they are just bad people who want to hurt others. But it’s not that simple.
The gospel points out that sin and Satan are real actors in human history, twisting people into hurting one another and themselves. The gospel reminds me that all is not as it should be. We all sin against other people, and we are all sinned against by others.
3. From “hopeless” to “hope in Jesus’ power to restore”
It’s easy to see humankind’s brokenness, and when someone I love seems broken beyond repair it’s easy to see them as hopeless. But the gospel says that Jesus can make anyone new. There is not a single person in the world who is beyond Jesus’ power to love and restore. He came to release us from sin’s power over us and to make us into who God made us to be.
4. From “nothing I do will make a difference” to “I can help”
When I see people in my life, it’s easy to think that nothing I do will make a difference. But the gospel says that God is making all things new and that he brings change by using people like you and me. God can make a person new no matter how broken they seem. And he can use you and me to display his love and grace in people’s lives.
Seeing people through gospel goggles takes practice. I recommend taking a few minutes each day to think about someone in your life through a gospel lens. To make getting started fun and easy we created two printable gospel goggles worksheets. One is a fill-in-the-blank worksheet and the other is a set of reflection questions. Pick the one that sounds most helpful to you, or use both. We hope you enjoy them!