To love is to have interest. The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. Indifference creates a sense of alienation. On the other hand, love is a warm interest. Love connects the marginalized ones to one another. Love begins by giving someone interest and a warm eye. People feel happy when they share a warm eye contact. We cannot exist alone. We only exist in relationships. We are born into relationship with our parents. We live sharing love and wounds in relationships. We experience conflicts in relationships, and we also grow and mature as we overcome these conflicts.
To live means to establish relationships. You need to have interests in order to establish a relationship. When you look at each other with interest, the relationship deepens. The eyes that looks at someone with interest is a beautiful gaze. A beautiful gaze is to look at the other person lovingly. It is to look warmly and gently. It is to look carefully. If you look carefully, you can see things that others cannot see well.
When we raise our children or nurture others, we can come to conclude that self-esteem is important. Self-esteem is an emotion that cherishes yourself. It is an emotion that values oneself as worthy. A person with low self-esteem trivializes himself. He lives with a sense of inferiority. So he loses confidence. On the other hand, if a person has high self-esteem, he cherishes himself. That’s why he lives with confidence. When people become confident, they think, speak, and act with confidence.
How, then, is healthy self-esteem formed? Self-esteem is not something you can produce yourself. Self-esteem is formed in relationships. Self-esteem is improved by someone’s loving eyes, recognition, praise and consideration. Healthy self-esteem is formed through people who love us, who believe in our potential, and who highly appreciate us. Also, when you experience unconditional love, your self-esteem is edified. It is the beautiful gaze that helps build healthy self-esteem.
A beautiful gaze is having the eyes to see the infinite potential of the others. You should not judge a person by the appearance. The true self is hidden inside. It is in the beautiful inner being. Of course, inner beauty can be expressed in appearance. But we must not forget that our true self is our inner being. That is why we must look at the infinite possibilities that are contained in people, not just in appearance. The eye that sees the infinite potential of people comes from the eye that sees infinite potential in oneself.
A beautiful gaze is having the eyes to look ahead to the beautiful future of the others. Everyone is still being formed. Everyone is still growing. The building being under construction is not beautiful. Sometimes it looks even hideous. But the reason that we feel that the building is beautiful, even though it is still under construction, that we know the outcome of the construction. This is because we can preview the beautiful future through the blueprints. Our children and we are still under construction. God loves us now as we are. God also loves us as He sees our beautiful future.
A beautiful gaze is having the eyes of valuing the differences of others. Han Byeong-cheol, who works in Germany, says in his book, <>, “Love always presupposes the difference.” He says, “Not only is the difference of the other, but my own difference is also the presupposition of love.” Love is the ability to bear the differences. Mature people do not think that being different is wrong, but consider it beautiful. A mature person embraces differences, rather than rejecting them. We say that people who know how to embrace differences are men of great caliber. God loves differences. God made all of the 7.2 billion human beings different. Similar, but they are all different. It is said that the grains of sand in the sea are also different if we look at them under a microscope. White and beautiful snowflakes are also different. The difference is not wrong, but marvelous.
A beautiful gaze is having the eyes to see people with God’s eyes. God sees sinners as righteous through Jesus. He sees a wicked sinner as a loving and holy man. People are transformed through the loving eyes of God. The eye of love creates a new person. That is why love is the ability to help us start anew. If the ugly gaze breaks down the person, the beautiful gaze raises the person up. It makes him beautiful. Let us build beautiful communities with a beautiful gaze. Blessings.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.