One of Rev’s favorite questions to ask a new Bible Class is…
“Name the one person you think about the most?“
It’s okay … you can take a minute to think about it.
Most moms believe they think about their children most.
Occasionally spouses will indicate they think about their husband or wife most.
Maybe it’s a friend, someone you’re dating, a parent, or someone else.
After a few minutes of thought and discussion, Rev always answered the same way.
“NOPE! It’s none of those people. If you’re completely honest … the person you think about the most is … YOU!”
Each time the room immediately filled with nervous laughter and nodding heads.
We can’t help it!
You and I filter every thought, every interaction, every detail of our lives … through the filter of “ME!”
How does this affect me? What do they think about me? Will I succeed? How do I look? What will I do? Will this project go well? Will my children make me proud or embarrass me? Will I ..?
It’s normal! Just a part of life that has touched every person on the planet since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden.
That’s the thing about sin and self-focused thinking…
It makes us miserable.
It’s our non-stop thinking about ourselves that leads to worry, anxiety, selfishness, anger, pride, etc. All those things that leave us distressed and discontented.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The One who created you knows you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my bodyPsalm 139:13
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
He made you for His plans and purposes.
You were made by God for this time and place in His story!
And He didn’t just create you to leave you to figure it all out on your own. The Lord is fully aware of the experiences that have and will influence your life.
You go before me and follow me.Psalm 139:5–6
You place Your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand.
Who God created you to be and the experiences He allows become your lens (how you perceive) and your filter (how you process) your life.
And simply put … how you and I process and perceive our life experiences formulate our perceptions, our views, and opinions. They affect the way we react, the way we touch others, the way we LIVE.
That’s the truth we live with and it’s not bad … it just is.
Which is how Rev could know that everyone in any room thinks about themselves more than they think about anyone else.
So, what do we do with all of those ME thoughts without letting them get out of hand?
5 Things You Can Do to Have a Perspective that will Make You Happy
♥ Surrender Your Thoughts to God.
I know when I spend time focused on my appearance, my stuff, my social media footprint, my failures or successes … on me, I am setting myself up for a pretty miserable day.
And it’s in those moments, I want to hear the Lord whisper…
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
How awesome is it that Jesus invites us to bring all the “stuff” of life to Him? He will help us carry the things that burden us so we can enjoy peace and joy.
And just in case you need to see the promise…
You will keep in perfect peaceIsaiah 26:3
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
♥ Ask God to help you seek and trust Him.
I’ve chosen the word “SEEK” as my forever word. It’s based on Luke 12:31
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
You see, for far too many years I doubted that verse. Oh, I believed in Jesus for my eternal future but I didn’t believe He was able to give me strength if the struggle was too great or courage if I was afraid of the path before me.
He graciously and patiently showed me the truth of His “nothing is impossible” love. A love we can trust today, tomorrow, and forever.
♥ Ask God for His help to love others well.
It’s hard to love others the way God wants me to when I’m constantly filtering their words and actions to a filter of “ME.”
Jesus told His followers:
“I am giving you a new commandmenst; Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”John 13:34
It’s not a request. It’s a command.
But loving like Jesus doesn’t mean failing to set aside time for rest. It doesn’t mean saying “yes” to everyone and everything.
I believe loving like Jesus means we will:
- be forgiving.
- be kind and compassionate.
- be humble.
- and love unconditionally.
I also know I can’t love like Jesus without His help. I need wisdom, discernment, strength, courage, and a whole lot less of “ME” thinking if I’m ever going to love others the way He commands.
♥ Ask God to help you do what you can and leave the rest to Him.
Although I know I’m supposed to do all of this one day at a time, I’m guilty of way too much past and future thinking.
I can overthink the things I’ve said and done and what people think about the things I’ve said and done. I can stress about what I’ll say and do in the future and what people will think about what I say and do in the future. And I can too often live my present influenced by the lens of “ME” based on the past and in anticipation of the future.
Yes, I’m a recovering people-pleaser with a long way to go.
And from the looks of my social media feed, I’m not alone!
But Paul wrote:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2
I believe that as I surrender to the Lord, He will continue to transform me.
And that transformation includes changing my lens … my perspective.
Remembering that it’s not about “ME!”
I currently need a new pair of eyeglasses.
I have my new prescription but I can’t find a new frame that I like as well as the ones I have.
And maybe that’s part of the problem with our “Me” filters. We know we need to surrender to God’s transforming grace but we’re just having trouble giving up our old way of looking at things … it’s comfortable and we’re a little worried that we won’t like the new ones as well.
But imagine the view, the perspective the Lord wants to give us. Imagine the clear beautiful way we could view things if we would just let Him help us filter our lives through His Word and promises.
How beautiful life might look if you allowed the Lord to change your perspective.
Who knows, it might even make you happy!
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