Posts Tagged With: perspective

It’s a Matter of Perception



I took this photo of a footprint in the sand at the beach a week ago. When I went back and looked at it, instead of looking like an impression of a footprint in the sand, it looked more like a raised footprint built up in the sand. I am not a photographer and can’t explain why it looks so different in the picture than it did in person. It is all about perception.

How often is our perception of a person or a situation skewed by our personal perspective? Too often we look at a person or situation and decide why someone acted a particular way or why a situation turned out a specific way. When we do so, we are ascribing motives and variables than may not exist and our perception may be a bit off.

What if instead of looking for people’s motives, we look at the person; really look at the person the way God looks at us? What if instead of deciding why something has turned out a certain way, we ask God to help us see a situation from His viewpoint? God looks at us and sees His Son. As believers, we are forgiven for our sins because of Christ’s death on the cross. God sees Christ’s perfect sacrifice instead of our sin.

What difference would it make in your relationships if you saw the people in your life as God’s children whom He loves instead of the person or people who hurt your or frustrate you? It is really all a matter of perception. We choose to see others as human with the same sinful nature we have and choose to forgive them or choose to judge them. 

What a different year we could experience in 2014 if we chose to see others and situations from God’s perspective rather than our own limited perspective! Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see others and situations the way He does and be willing to show them the love of Christ you have been shown by your Heavenly Father.


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Light in the Darkness



John 8:12

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Ephesians 5:8

8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 

Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world and as His followers, we are to be light in the world. When you look at the photo above you are able to see the dark, black night sky, some clouds and the moon. However, if the moon wasn’t there lighting up the sky, the clouds would not be able to be seen at all.

Just as the moon lit up the sky and revealed the clouds, when the light of Christ shines in our lives, we are able to see things that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. Often we see people and circumstances from our own perspectives. However, when we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, He reveals things from God’s perspective. Suddenly we see people and situations differently.

Instead of seeing a person who cut us off as we drove down the road, we see a person who may be on the way to the hospital to visit a loved one or someone who is desperate to get somewhere to help someone else. Our knowledge of the situation may not have changed but instead of reacting in road rage, we have the choice to simply choose to see that they clearly need to get somewhere and pray they arrive safely.

Instead of seeing the clerk at the store who is rude to us as someone who doesn’t want to help us, we see them as someone who is dealing with some difficult situations in his/her life. The clerk may be dealing with an elderly parent, or marital or financial problems. We may not know what is going on with the clerk, but we can choose to pray for him/her and whatever is going on in his/her life. 

The way we choose to react and speak and treat others shows whether or not we are walking as children of the light. We are called to walk as children of the light and in doing so we are to bring Christ to our relationships and circumstances. The Holy Spirit may reveal to us that someone is suffering and that is why they are behaving the way they are. It is a call to prayer, not a call to judgment. When we choose to pray for others rather than judging them, we speak to them differently and treat them differently. 

Think back over your past week, were you walking in judgment or light? Were you allowing the Lord to help you shine the light of Christ into your relationships and circumstances? What relationship do you need to reevaluate and try to see as a child of God rather than a child of the world? What circumstances do you find yourself facing that you need to allow the Holy Spirit to help you shine the light of Christ into? We have tremendous power as children of God to shine His light into our relationships and circumstances, but the choice is ours. Will you shine His light today? You never know what He may reveal to you and what a difference you make make in the life of someone else!

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Prisoner for Christ


Today we are going to start looking at Ephesians 3. We will see how even as a prisoner, Paul had hope and wanted to continue to share the gospel with others.

Ephesians 3:1

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Paul describes himself as a prisoner, which he was. He was under house arrest in Rome. However, he did not say he was a prisoner of the Roman soldiers, but a prisoner of Christ. Paul so closely associated himself with Christ he considered his imprisonment to be associated with the work he was doing for Christ. Paul recognized the sovereignty of Christ and was willing to suffer on His behalf.

“When we are undergoing hardship, unpopularity, material loss for the sake of Christian principles we may either regard ourselves as the victims of men or the champions of Christ. Paul is our example; he regarded himself, not as the prisoner of Nero, but as the prisoner of Christ.”1 We always have a choice on how we view our circumstances and our perspective can completely change our attitude.

When was the last time you experienced a hardship, struggle, unpopularity or loss because of your faith? When was the last time you were challenged to choose between the way of the world and the way of Christ? When we suffer for our faith, we need to keep in mind who we are suffering for and the suffering and sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. Are you willing to suffer for Christ?

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Change your Perspective

Today’s post is the second in the series of transforming your relationships with the sandpaper people in your life. If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it to learn about sandpaper people. The first step to transforming your relationships is to change your viewpoint and get a godly perspective.

1 Samuel 16:7

…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

We tend to judge people based on what we see, but the Lord doesn’t. He looks into a person’s heart. Think about the sandpaper person in your life you want to have a better relationship with, have you judged them based on what you have seen? I know for myself, when I see that person, inwardly my eyes roll and I sigh at the thought of having to interact with them at all. I expect the interaction to not go well based on past experiences. Aren’t we lucky God doesn’t do that with us! He doesn’t look at us and roll His eyes because of what we have said or done in the past.

We dread interacting with the sandpaper people in our lives in part because we think we know why they act the way the do. We assume they are mean, don’t like us, are self-centered or just try to get under our skin. However, we are judging them based on only a small picture of who they are. Here’s an example many of you can probably relate to. When you are driving and someone cuts you off, you get irritated and assume they are a jerk – that is your perspective. God, on the other hand who doesn’t have our limited perspective of just a few moments of interaction, sees something completely different. He sees a woman who is rushing to get to the hospital because her child was just in an accident or a man who is rushing to get to the bedside of a dying parent. We judge people so quickly based on so little information.

I know some of you are thinking to yourselves that you know your sandpaper people better than that and have a broader perspective. But do you have the complete picture that God does? Do you know everything they are going through right now, what they have been through in the past and what they will be facing in the future? That sandpaper person at the office, on the committee, at church or even in your own family may be facing situations that you are not aware of. They may be dealing with health or financial issues, struggling in their marriage, dealing with a wayward child, caring for an elderly parent, suffering abuse, struggling with an addiction or a host of many other issues that is impossible for you to know. Maybe if we could try to see people from God’s perspective, we would change the way we feel about them which would in turn change the way we treat them.

1 Chronicles 28:9

…for the Lord searches every heart and understand every motive behind the thoughts.

Seek the Lord and ask Him to help you see that sandpaper person from His perspective. You may not receive insight into what they are going through, but you can see them as a child of God who is worthy of His love and ours, who is lavished by His grace and who we should lavish with the grace He has given us. Try viewing that person with the same love, respect and kindness you do with someone you cherish in your life and see if your heart isn’t softened, your words aren’t kinder and your attitude more positive.

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