Seeing Yourself as Others See You

In high school I never considered myself a great student of English literature, but I have always been amazed at how much of English lit – – especially poetry – – I remember. Poetry, by its very nature, lends itself to memory.

I still remember reading the wonderful poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Goldsmith, and Robert Burns among many others.

The story I am writing about may not be politically correct, but it is certainly interesting.

Robert Burns wrote the poem “To A Louse” after having been in church one Sunday. He sat sat right behind a prim, proper, and well dressed lady. Everything was perfectly in place.

Unfortunately, one thing was wrong. Burns watched in amusement as a louse played on the woman’s bonnet.

It led Burns to pen these memorable words in the Scottish dialect:

“Oh wad some Power the giftie gie us To see ourseles as ithers see us!”

I’ve never forgotten those words.

It is important to see ourselves through the eyes of others, but it is even more important to see ourselves through the eyes of God.

It is how He sees us that really matters.

Why should this be important?

Mainly because God is the judge of the universe. We, and all we have, belongs to Him. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves (Psalm 100:3).

It is important because God calls believers to be faithful and to live our lives in devotion to the great God of the universe.

It matters because of who God is and how He wants us to live in obedience to Him.

Paul encouraged the believers at Philippi to take on the mind of Christ – – to become like him and to have his attitude (Philippians 2:5).

The goal of the Christian should be to be conformed to the image of Christ.

All of this means that we should look at ourselves and others through the eyes of God Himself, that we should live lives that are pleasing to Him.

For years I have made my morning devotional time a time to remember, quote, and meditate on Psalm 19:14.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer.”


  1. Robert Lyster
    May 23, 2017

    My favorite lines from Robert Burns come from “To a Mouse.” “The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley.” or translated to: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men oft go awry.” This reminds me of the passage in James where we are warned not to make plans without first knowing God’s will. When we make plans outside of God’s will, too often those plans come crashing down upon our heads.

    • Waylon
      May 23, 2017

      NO wonder the Scottish love him so much!

  2. Cindy Tynes
    May 23, 2017

    LOL! Thanks for reminding me of a forgotten chastisement after my high school encounter with Mr. Burns’s poetry. Zoning out as many students do, I would watch my prim and proper math teacher’s bouffant hair bounce during her tirades….until that one class when she asked what I was grinning about! Being a slightly above-average student, I wiped that smile off my face and kept my mouth shut. But Mr. Burns’s verses still make me grin!

    Your blog is inspirational and applicable to my muddled life daily, and are truly a blessing to me.

    • Waylon
      May 23, 2017

      Thanks, Cindy. Your comments make me smile too.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)