Tag Archives: perspective

Evict the freeloaders!

Today marks one month into 2018. It means that the Australian Open has been played and won, the shrimps and lamb have been consumed from the BBQ, most people would be back at work and the kids have begun school. Not to mention the progress, or lack there of for 2018 New Years Resolutions.

What are you changing or sacrificing this year?

Guilt unforgiveness or grudges don’t sacrifice or pay anything to take up residency in your life. Depression anxiety and substance abuse are also freeloaders. Its time to evict them.

In fact you are the one who is making the sacrifice. It has been said that unforigveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person would die. You could say the same about undue guilt that weighs you down or a grudge you are holding against another person for something that they did, or possibly only your perception of an event or incident from… how long ago?

Depression and anxiety are real emotions that many people experience during their lifetime. But you don’t have to set up a tent in the valley of the shadow of despair. It may take you time but its now time to use those roadblocks (boulders) to overcoming these issues as stepping stones. Its time to evict them and rise above.

Substance abuse and other addictions not only hurt you but those close to you. These may cost you financially as you part with money to feed them but the costs are much more than the financial: friendships, relationships employment housing freedoms and liberty. Not so much a freeloader as the others above but by no means without cost.

Mental health is important. Not keeping check on the causes of negative virtues or habits in your life could be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Have you already broken your new years resolutions for 2018? Maybe some of these issues identified above have contributed to you lack of staying power. Its time to evict the freeloaders in your life and rise above your accomplishments and mistakes of the past.

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What do you seek?

Seeking after the things of God, not this world reflects your priorities in life. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a career or interests outside a faith setting. It is when your pursuits in life give no regard to God, you may find trouble beckoning.  The hurts you experience along the way may begin to spiral out of control when you are unable to, or unaware of how to view them as opportunities.

Getting God’s perspective on the tension between joy and tribulation can provide you with the greatest lessons in life.

God has a goal for each and every one of our lives. It isn’t just to make us happy, but to model for us how to be Holy – by being more like Him.  Jesus knew and endured pain, ridicule and shame.  He was disowned, ignored, physically beaten.

The writer of the Bible book of Hebrews says that it was through the pain and suffering that Jesus Christ endured on our behalf taught Him obedience.  (Hebrews 5:8). Through these times it was who He put His faith and trust in that Jesus got through – He learned to depend on God, and God alone.

It is when we can see God’s providential care and involvement in the good and bad times; in the valleys and on top of the mountains; in the dark times and bright, then we can build the resilience that comes from depending on God. 

Not much in this world comes without risk. The saying goes “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.”  Allowing yourself to become vulnerable and opening your heart to God is the first key in allowing the hurt you have endured to be used for good, for those set backs to become set ups! 

It is said of Saint Basil (303 – 379 AD) that his faith was ambidextrous because “he welcomed pleasure with his right hand and afflictions with the left, convinced both would serve God’s design for him.”  Seeking God in all seasons of your life, trusting God in the joys and tribulations of life is where ‘ambidextrous faith’ is beneficial.

When we look around with our eyes open, we can be distracted by the issues and struggles of life.  When you close your eyes, these distractions and biases become less influential. Determine to close you eyes to your hurts and ask God to reveal to you how He is able to turn these around into greater possibilities.

 

Perspective

SCRIPTURE: Psalms 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)

OBSERVATION: The events that were facing King David when he wrote this Psalm are unknown.  Regardless of whether he was facing another battle against the physical enemy, going through a personal struggle or simply reflecting on who the LORD God was to him, we read that King David knew God was his helper.

APPLICATION:  The picture accompanying this blog is one that I took during a recent extended stay in hospital.  During this time I was reminded of a story of two men who shared a hospital room which had only one window.  I recall in that story how only one of these two men could see the view out the window.  During daily conversations, the man by the window would describe the view to the other.  His descriptions included a colourful picture of the park with a lake filled with ducks, people walking hand in hand around the lake and children playing in the park.  Both men enjoyed this interaction which brought joy to their days.

One morning the man farthest from the window woke to find that the other man had passed away during the night.  He asked the nurse of he could swap sides of the room to be able to enjoy the view that was so often discussed.  Bemused, the nurse agreed.  The man soon became disheartened to discover that the view was actually facing a brick wall.  The man was advised by the nurse that the other man was blind and assumed that he was sharing his perspective on what he imagined the view would be like.

We are all faced with moments of disappointment in our lives, along with opportunities to control our perspective and influence our atmosphere.  Like the blind man in this story, I had the opportunity to bemoan my view from the hospital window.  I knew exactly what direction I was looking out at, that I would be able to enjoy the sunrising in my room most mornings, and watching the weather patterns and pedestrians throughout the day.  My perspective was, despite why I was there, to make the most of the time I had to stop, rest and count my blessings; to use it as an opportunity to spend much quality time with God.  Yes, I missed my family and friends, the freedom and fresh air, but I chose to look to the hills, because I knew my help was and continues to come from God.

PRAYER:  Dear God, help me to see life through your perspective, that I may be constantly aware of your presence and help, regardless of my present situation.  AMEN