Many of you have undoubtedly heard the expression “beer goggles.” It emanates from the experience of being out on the town, having one too many beers, and suddenly finding that every woman (or man) in the joint is gorgeous. They’re beautiful (or handsome) because you’re looking at them through beer goggles.
While I don’t highly recommend this sort of activity, it seems to me we could make good use of this. In other words, I don’t think we have to get juiced up to view people in a different light.
As a matter of fact, I think we in the church need to start wearing beer goggles. (If you don’t have a pair, get you some!). We need to begin looking at our neighbors differently. Here are five ways we can do that.
Look at people in the best possible way. We often see them in the worst possible way. They’re cheap… They’re mean… They’re messy…(ad nauseum). Get to know them, and emphasize their best traits in your mind rather than their worst.
He’s My Friend
Look upon people as someone you want to get to know. Find out what makes them tick. Get to know them on a different level.
C’mon Over for Dinner
Read the gospels. Jesus got to know people over dinner. He ate with everybody…disciples, Pharisees, sinners of all sorts. Invite at least one person to your next backyard BBQ that you normally wouldn’t include. Talk to them with a mouthful.
What Can I Do For You?
Extend a helping hand. Shovel a neighbor’s snowy sidewalk. Help them rake and bag their leaves. Before you head to the grocery store, see if you can pick anything up for them to save them a trip. Even if they don’t want your help, they’ll probably say thanks and give you a quick opportunity to know them a tad better.
I Found This Great Deal!
When you stumble across an absolute bargain, pick up an extra one and give it to someone you don’t know that well. Mention that you thought of them when you saw this. You picked one up for yourself and you thought maybe they could use one as well. Even if it turns out they don’t need it, it will give you a small opportunity to get to know them on a somewhat deeper level.
These suggestions are not rocket science, I know. They’re just small, practical ideas that will break a little ice here and there.
You may have noticed something each of these five suggestions has in common. In each, the central idea is this—get to know them better. We are made for community. And, in my view, what we lack in this world is community.
Imagine the change that would take place in our world if each of us did this with one person. Why not give it a try?