The Power in Perspective Pt2

So part two of my thoughts on perspective

Part two will hopefully encourage you to take control of the situations you face by becoming more self aware and in control. Often times we allow life to happen to us as if we have little to no control of the situations. Life happens – that’s a given. Scripture says the rain falls on the just AND the unjust (Mth 5:45) meaning that none of us a exempt from trials and just life .. However, the power is in how we choose to go through it.

I often times think of Job and all he suffered in an instant – unknown to him – God and the Devil were having a good old talk about him before anything started going wrong for him. To top it all off – this wasn’t like when God sent the plagues to Egypt because of the hardened hart of Pharaoh – God was actually boasting about Job and how good he is and STILL allowed the Devil to mess up his life to the extent that he was left with nothing..

Often time our perspective would lead us to think that God is full on out to get us. Just out lurking with pit falls and fog and anything else that would make our lives difficult – but this is the total opposite of what The Father is trying to do. Lets look at some examples:

John 9:1-12 tells us of a man who was born blind and the encounter he had with Jesus. Jesus was about his business as per usual and he encounters this blind man. His disciples ask him “who sinned why he was born blind, his mother or father?”. Jesus’s answer offers a different perspective in verse 3 :  Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Here we see one situation. Two perspectives. The disciples had one, Jesus had another. The disciples wanted to know who was to blame for this terrible thing that this man had endured all his life. They were looking for someone to blame as to why this thing had happened. They were concerned about they WHY of the situation. Don’t most of us get stuck in the Why of a matter. See the different perspective from Jesus – He was more concerned about the WHAT of this situation. What was the reason for this whole orchestrated encounter – simply that the works of God might be displayed through him. See the difference

Another example. Lazarus. In John 11 we see the account of a friend of Jesus being reported to be sick. The bible accounts that this man was close to Jesus. Mary says to him “the one you love”.. just in case He was getting his friends and Lazarus’ mixed up. In verse four we get the perspective of Jesus “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”. Here we have a perspective. Now this didn’t change the situation. It didn’t even change the initial outcome of the friend dying – however we see the power of perspective. Look at Jesus’s reaction – He actually stayed where He was for another two days. Not shaken – not even stirred.

Now we could say He wasn’t shaken because He knew what He was going to do – how would you expect me to have such grounding without knowledge of how things are going to end? I’m glad you asked – this is where we have to train our faith.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen we are told (Heb 11:1). It’s what the unknown and unseen are made up from – Faith. Scripture tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. another version talks of an expected end. Here very clearly we see the outline – start to finish of God’s heart and mind towards us. He makes it very clear that he has an expected end. He has a glory at the end for us. His thoughts towards us are GOOD. He has no ill thought or plan for our lives. And this is the rock we need to anchor our perspective in.

Many things have happened to me and often times I stopped to wonder why? Like I didn’t pray, or fast, or read my bible. Like I don’t sever in church, pay my tithes, give my offering. Like I’ve not suffered enough.. that’s one perspective. To consider life as one BIG episode of Total Wipeout where the aim is to Take-Me-Out.. and God is the one releasing all the water and foam and BIG balls just to make it difficult. Or, I could ask God “what is it you want from me and or my life via this? Since your thoughts towards me are good..and in aims of bringing me to an expected end – what (not why) is this in aims of”?

You my dear have to make the decision to taken another stance. Now I am not asking you to put on a pair of sunglasses and pretend like life isn’t happening – because it is – whether you want to see it or not. But what I am suggesting to you is that you take a moment to think before reacting. Lets not forget – Jesus still cried when He got to the grave of the friend who He loved – even with full knowledge of what He was going to do – so I am not taking that away from you. I’m suggesting a different perspective. You actually have the power and choice to do things differently.

Having your thoughts anchored in such a truth (and there are may more like it) allows you to steady your reactions. Like Jesus – asleep on the boat despite the storm. Just because Jesus was there, didn’t stop the storm – but the storm didn’t bother him. It’s a choice you have to and can make.. to choose another perspective.

Much love xxx

 

The Power in Perspective. Pt 1

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

There is something very powerful, life changing and transformative about the way we think. The scripture does not suggest that there is something external to the man that dictates what he does, and who he is, however it is dependant on the very content of his own mind. This scripture is so powerful because it rightly proportions the right and the power of your actions back into your own hands.

Now, for some, this isn’t good news. Why, you may ask. Why wouldn’t someone like to hear that they have the ability to control the outcome? Because truth be told, some just enjoy being how they are and the way they are  – it’s uncomfortably comfortable. Because it means that I have to be, and am fully accountable for me. For some this is bad news. No, seriously – this is horrible for some people. The fact that they are no longer able to blame someone and or something external to them for the way they are is a full on party pooper of a statement for them. They say ignorance is bliss.. not anymore baby.. not any more!

For some it’s simply easier to have someone else to blame for the way we are now. And believe me when I say I am not suggesting that we are totally abstract and unconnected from our experiences – but what I am suggesting is that at some point we have to take responsibility for what happens now.

Psychology would suggest that the person we are today is made up of various things. One of those things are what we think of ourselves – our own perception of who we are. Another is made up of what others have told us and we have adopted to be truth (whether it be actual truth or not). Another is based on what has happened to us that has shaped parts of our personality – learnt behaviours, coping mechanisms, phobias etc. So I fully acknowledge that external things have an impact on what we do and who we are… however.. I am suggesting that at some point we have the power to rewrite the future based on our choice of perception.

At some point we have to become responsible for who we are. At some point we can no longer blame the upbringing, the parents, the education, the church, the friends or the lack there of – at some point you have to become responsible for telling the rest of the story.

As a man thinks – he is. The responsibility is on you. Nothing external. You.

I know hardly warm and fluffy like a fresh batch of Cinnabons.. (if you don’t know what that looks, taste or smells like..Chilllllle.. where you beeennn..? go google it now..I’ll wait).. but medicinal and good for you.

So what exactly is perspective:

noun
1.
the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other.
“the theory and practice of perspective”
2.
a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”

 

I love the first one. The Art.. perspective is an art-form indeed. Three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional surface so as to – watch this – give the right impression. Which would suggest that there is a possibility to have the wrong impression. The second meaning looks at attitude and holding a particular point of view. Ultimately it is the art of of altering ones view or how something is seen. Which would suggest there is and can be another way…

1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”

The putting way of childish things wasn’t the making of the adult. By that I mean the writer didn’t say he became a man because he put away childish things. It suggests the impression of the need to put away childish things came when he became a man. Again it was a person responsibility and reaction. Just because time lapsed and I became an adult did childish things automatically disappear? Nope. I – You – We need t make the choice to put them away. We have got to change perspective.

Perspective changes responses – How?

2 Kings 6: 15-17 “15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”

The passage shows two men in the same situation – with different perspectives – results in two different reactions. Both polar opposites. The servant – being surrounded by chariots and horses of the enemy he was scared, fear took him. Elisha wasn’t afraid of what was happening around him, so his reaction to it was different, and he knew exactly what his servant needed to see – what perspective of the situation he needed to have that would alter his reaction to a very real situation they were in. The prophet asked God to open the man’s eyes so he could see what he could see – the perspective he had – that he had more with him than were against him. His perspective needed changing to change his reaction to the experience.

Your Perspective – Your Choice

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Are you aware you have a choice to you’re thoughts and perspective? Especially if you are person of faith. You have a right and a choice to your perspective. The results of stinking thinking is stinking living. Bad thoughts and negative perceptions will only have you responding in likewise ways. The responsibility to change this is yours. 

My own story – After a breakup from a 6 year narcissistic abusive relationship (I’ll share that story one day), I was a full on mental and emotional mess. After 6 years I was left with PTSD and was verging on Psychosis. My mind and thinking totally battered and shell shocked. Unable to distinguish night from day, light from dark, good from bad and most importantly, truth from lie. Somehow I found myself blaming myself, I was of the opinion that God was against me, and I was no good. That was my perspective. and this radiated in my living. I rejected love from God, adamant I was worthless, unworthy, condemned, judged with a verdict that was far from in my favour. That was my perspective and that was my reaction. As I was thinking – So Was I .

But there came a point where I was simply sick and tired of being mentally sick and tired. I was done with thinking bad, feeling bad and being bad. I was fully fed-up of being a slave to the contents of my own mind. I had to take back the power. I had to stand in the power given to me.

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

We are told that we have the ability and power to demolish every argument and presentation that is against what God knows and what we know of God. We have the power to put into subjection anything that is distorting our perception. Anything that has presented a false or limited perception. Again, the power has been given to YOU to do it. Hardly the lazy man’s guide to life.. but something I really want you to grasp with both hands. The choice is YOURS. The choice was MINES.. 

I made the choice to change the way I was thinking. I had to – and have continued to make a choice to. I could continue with life on the spin cycle of negative stinking thinking – spinning in pain and frustration and bitterness and hurt. Or, I could change my perspective. Believe me – there was plenty to remain negative about – years of it – but I had to make a choice…

Come back for Part Two where I tell you what I did to get there .. Not a finished work.. but I am better than I was yesterday and for that I am grateful and willing to share..

See you soon lovelies..