Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Perspective Transformation

Through these past posts, have you begun to recognize any seeds of bitterness in your heart? Have you realized that you’ve focused on your own wants, desires, or rights? My dad has said before, “You should not be offended by anything anyone says, because whatever they say, however terrible, you are reminded that you know things far worse about your own heart.” So for them to say something mean only scratches the surface of who you know you, when walking in the flesh, are. That is a humbling thought. We have no right to become offended with someone (which then turns to bitterness). Our perspective must change. We must be others-focused, and not self-focused.

When a child is given a piece of yummy cake, he is ecstatic. That is, until he sees that his sibling got a bigger piece that he did. Then it's completely turned around, and the joy is turned to jealousy as he focuses on what he didn't get. It's a perspective issue, an issue of gratitude in the heart. This same thing can so easily happen to us when we have less than desirable circumstances.

Henry Blackaby turns the spotlight off ourselves when he expresses,
“Rather than focusing on what you would like to see happen, realize that God may be more concerned with what He wants to see happen in you.”

Instead of concentrating on what bad things have happened to us, we need to change our perspective. Dwelling on what we wanted only leads to bitterness because things won’t always go our way. However, keeping a biblical perspective provides us with the opportunity for God to use the circumstance to refine us. In the Valley of Vision book, one of the Puritan prayers acknowledges to God that “All I want in life is such circumstances as may best enable me to serve Thee in the world”.

Imagine the amazing transformation if we focused on honoring God throughout any circumstance versus becoming bitter over it! Can you pray and ask God to give you any circumstance He desires, no matter what it means for you, as long as it enables you to serve Him better? God desires to sanctify us. He wants to use our circumstances to refine us in ways He cannot do when things go well. When we experience difficulties and testing, we should learn how to see those as an opportunity to be conformed to be more like Christ. So instead of becoming bitter, we should choose to thank God (even when it’s difficult) that He is conforming us to His image!


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