A new perspective changes everything

Pulpit Reflections

It’s all in our perspective, the way we look at things. This poem was on Facebook (author unknown) and really got me thinking. Please take time to read it, top to bottom.

Today was the absolute worst day ever

And don’t try to convince me that

There’s something good in every day 

Because, when you take a closer look,

This world is a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in a while

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart

Because

True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree with that

The reality

Creates

My attitude

It’s all beyond my control

And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day.

So what is this poem about? It seems like someone is having one of those terrible, awful days. The worst day ever. The world seems like an evil place, satisfaction and happiness won’t last. They can’t even believe that any good exists and it’s beyond their control. 

PERSPECTIVE. I ask you to read it again, from a new perspective. Start at the bottom of the poem and read up to the top.

Same exact words, used in a different order. Did you catch the change in the attitude? Did you see the negative turn positive? Did you take that closer look? Wow, that amazes me. Negative turned positive just by taking a different view.

PERSPECTIVE. How we look at things causes us to respond in different ways. Reading that poem from the top to the bottom and then turning it around and reading it from the bottom to the top, my attitude changed, my focus got clearer, goodness does shine and I am reminded in Psalm 139:23-24.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I ask God to reach out and take me by the hand, lead me in his way everlasting, help me to see others through his eyes and to see my world as a place to share his love. I know what it feels like when a person’s words or action cause me, cause us, to feel beat up. 

When those with whom we share life, whether it be at the church, in our community, our families, or even those we have called friends, do or say things that are less than encouraging, and even judgmental, we want to lash out and make them feel as bad as we feel. 

Yet we must remember God’s three simple rules we are to live by:

1. Do no harm.

2. Do good.

3. Stay in love with God.

We all are part of the family of God and how we treat each other matters. The words we say, or don’t say, make a difference.

Luke 6:30-31 reminds us. “Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.”

Let me say that once again, however you want to be treated, that is how you must treat others and that is not easy. When someone is mean or hateful to me I want to ignore them, or get revenge. 

I know those are two very different responses and I also know that neither one of them is the way God wants me to respond. As I said earlier, we are to do no harm. Do good. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you and the key to it all is to stay in love with God. 

Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel and before you speak, think. 

You have a responsibility. Remember there are those that the only Jesus they know is YOU. Not that you are Jesus, but he lives in you and your words and actions speak volumes. Claiming the name Christian carries with it a great responsibility and a great reward.

When Jesus sat in the upper room with the disciples, breaking bread with them, he knew he was about to be betrayed, that things were going to be said about him that were less than admirable, that his close friend would do the unimaginable as he kissed him on the cheek. 

Yet that didn’t stop him from loving them, from serving them, from breaking bread with them and making it known that this bread is his body. This juice is his blood. The blood of the new covenant he has made with us. 

Jesus knew the cross was before him. Yet he willingly pledged his forgiveness and his love.

Now what about us? What do we pledge? What are the meditations of our hearts? 

Will we seek to be disciples who treat others the way we want to be treated? Will we live our lives ministering to the least of these? Will we do no harm? 

Do good and stay in love with God, all the while asking God to point out the harmful, wicked ways in our lives and leading us in God’s ways everlasting? 

May it be so.

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