A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday, Norm and I went to church. We heard a great sermon from the book of Philemon, a letter by the apostle Paul. The sermon was about gaining a new perspective on life by changing the way we think. It is important to note that you cannot change the way you think unless you allow the Holy Spirit to renew and control your mind. Actually, it’s not really about control it’s more about submission.

Consider these verses:

  • … take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
  • Do not be conformed… be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
  • For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
  • If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NLT)

Our thoughts can be characterized as fearful, negative, hopeless or peaceful. I know there are times in my own life when my thoughts can be rather negative, but for the most part they are peaceful. When I do get thoughts that are fearful, negative or hopeless, it is important for me to do as the apostle Paul recommends and take captive those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. Basically what that means is that I need to let God’s Word dictate the outcome of any situation I may be facing, rather than relying on my own thoughts about the situation.

As Pastor Mark put it yesterday, we need to see the good through the bad and see the purpose through the pain. Instead of asking God, “why?” We should ask God “What are you doing through this experience?”

Is this an easy thing to do? No, but it does get easier with practice. There are numerous examples I can give you from my own life where I found this to be true. I do not always see things with the correct perspective. I’m often so focused on what is right in front of me that I fail to see the big picture. I went through a very difficult time emotionally about 10 years ago. For the first time in my life I was in a romantic relationship in which I was not just the one who was romantically attracted to the other person, but that he felt the same about me. It was a very strange experience — frightening and yet exhilarating at the same time. After a few months, this fellow realized that we were headed in a direction that would draw us together towards marriage. He chose to end our relationship which broke my heart, but it was the right thing to do. Perhaps he could have done it a different way, but it would not have made it any less painful. I went through months of depression and a feeling of hopelessness that even now looking back I remember that pain. It was very much the same kind of hopeless feeling I had as a teenager when I realized that I would not grow out of my disability. God is good even when it doesn’t look like it at the time. It is all a matter of perspective.
It was about two years later that I met Norm. Because of the previous experience I appreciated Norm’s true pursuit of my heart. It was so far different from what I had experienced before. Why did I lose hope before? Because I did not trust God. That is not a good place to be.

What is your perspective? Perhaps it needs an adjustment as much as mine did.


  1. pj
    Jul 10, 2006

    Good Word – Hebrews 11:6 Without Faith (Trust) it is impossible to please God. Trust makes you a God pleaser!!

  2. Narniaman
    Jul 10, 2006

    It seems to all boil down to God’s determination to conform us into the image of his Son. (Romans 8:29).

    Personally, I prefer joy and happiness and fun and none of this trial and tribulation stuff and especially none of these take up your cross and follow me commands.

    But I gather that the Master Potter thinks that squeezing me and shaping me and then turning up the heat makes a vessel much more in the image of his Son . . . .so I’ll defer to is judgment!

  3. March Hare
    Jul 11, 2006

    Hi Karen,

    Great post, just when I needed it most! (God doesn’t always have to use a clue-by-four to get my attention!)

    BTW, nice job on the redesign as well.

    Have your new cushions come yet? Inquiring bottoms want to know! 😆