Perspective is everything. Have you noticed how it is almost like parents and kids speak two different languages? I can remember a few years back when we decided to do a family vacation and head to the beach. We made it to the Gulf, where we were enjoying a few days of fun in the sun as a family, when, sure as clockwork, our youngest starts doing that cute little “duck walk” thing kids do when they have to use the bathroom.
“Hey buddy, do you need to go potty?”
Sure enough he had to go (the duck walk never lies). I, in typical parent fashion, respond to the urgency of the moment with a quick, “No worries pal, we are at the beach… just go in the water.” Personally, “just go in the water” means swim out a little way into the water and do your own business (hey – no judgement). This is where the breakdown of the story begins because, to my son, “just go in the water” did not mean swim out a little way and do your business. To him, “just go in the water” translated to walking up to the edge of the water, dropping his suit down to his ankles, and doing his business into the water (in front of an entire beach of shocked onlookers). Welcome to our family vacation!
“Just go in the water son!”
Perspective changes everything. It can be our worst enemy or our greatest ally. How then do we develop a healthier outlook on life? How do we shift the way we view our circumstances, relationships, hardships, and the plethora of other obstacles life throws at us? The answer lies in an ancient book called the Bible. Regardless of what you believe about the Bible, God, and religion in general, at the very least most people can agree that the Bible is filled with practical life lessons and when applied can make a huge difference to our daily lives.
Your Words Shape Your World
Proverbs 18.21- The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Our words are more than just syllables we say. Words have the power to shape our world. It is not a matter of if they are impacting our lives, but how. Everything is all based on our words. We have an impact on our world, both internally and externally, positive and negative, every time we talk. What an incredible thought! Choose to say positive, life-giving, and encouraging words in every conversation, especially in the conversations you have with yourself.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to sell you a magic formula that makes all your troubles disappear, but something significant does happen when we line our words up with God’s will. Though our unfavourable circumstances may not change, the negative effect that they are having on our minds and emotions can.
Put your words to work for you.
Fix Your Focus
Romans 12.1-2 (MSG)-So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
The invisible kingdom inside of a person ultimately becomes the visible kingdom around them. The mind is ground zero in our lives, it is where the war is won or lost.
We’ve got to fix our focus.
What things are you magnifying in your mind? In reality these things could be a minor inconvenience, but when you put it under a magnifying glass it quickly becomes overwhelming. This is the game that the enemy of our soul likes to play, to make things seem worse than they are, bigger than it is, and more difficult than it has to be.
Very often our main problem isn’t the problem, but rather our main problem is our perspective on our problem.
We tend to get anxious, stressed out, and worked up over things that in the long run turn out to be little. What we magnify in our minds will multiply. Choose to fix your attention on things that build you up rather than beat you down. It is a great way to live.
The Issue Is Identity
2 Corinthians 3.18- And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from one degree of glory to even more glory.
We act out who we believe in our hearts we are. Our actions are a byproduct of our identity. It is the big idea behind this verse in Corinthians, that when we look at ourselves in the mirror we are intended to see ourselves the same way that God sees us.
So, what do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? Perhaps you have bought into the lie that you are not significant, not valuable, or not worthy to be noticed. Perhaps unlovable? Unforgivable? The tragedy that occurs when we buy into lies like these on the inside is that we start to act like these lies on the outside. Our issues are not our identity. It may have something to do with what we did, but it is not who we are. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we are intending to see the glory of God staring back at us.
Shift your focus away from your weakness and onto His strength; away from your shortcomings onto His sufficiency; away from your blooper reel onto His highlight reel. What does God see when He looks at me? He sees the glory of God through His Son Jesus. To walk in the fullness of who we are, we’ve got to see ourselves through that same perspective!
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