One of the things that fascinated my children when they were much younger, and still does with babies I sometimes hold, is my having to wear eyeglasses.
When my kids were little, they would grab hold of my metal-framed glasses, sometimes nearly taking one of my ears off with them, and then put them onto their own faces so they could try them out for themselves. “What’s the deal with this thing, dad?” they seemed to be asking (or the very young child version of it).
They would clumsily slide them onto their own faces, poking themselves in the eye as often as not, try to fit the earpieces over their ears, but getting them tangled in their hair or missing their ears altogether. Then, when having finally succeeded (with a little help from their father), they would take a look at the world around them through my lenses.
Because my eyeglasses were prescription lenses designed for my particular eye problem (nearsightedness with astigmatism), the children naturally could not see very well through my glasses.
But they thought it was fun to look at the odd things that they could see through them. The lenses would bend the light rays passing through them in such a way that to my children’s eyes the people and things around them were distorted into strange and bewildering shapes.
Of course, spending only a little time looking through my glasses made them laugh. I imagine that if they continued to look too long through them, however, giddiness would turn into nausea (and leave them feeling like they’d gone a few times too many on an amusement park “Whirl-a-hurl” ride). I’m glad to say that we never came to that unhappy conclusion — at least not with my glasses.
I find that a lot of people are a lot like my kids. Oh, I don’t mean that people are lining up to try on my glasses (that would be a bit awkward). But I do mean that folks like to try on different perspectives. In some ways, that’s not a bad thing. It’s great to try to look at things from the point of view of another person in order that we might appreciate such insights that they might have or have an understanding of them that cultivates compassion within us.
On the other hand, it can be a dreadful thing for us to take upon ourselves a perspective by which we will live life that isn’t prescribed for us by the One Who created us!
Before a person comes to Christ, he or she has a spiritual nearsightedness that effectively renders him or her blind. Such a person cannot genuinely see life (either the temporal world of the “here and now” or the eternal one that awaits him or her after this physical life is over). But when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, blindness begins to melt away, and a new set of “glasses” are prescribed for that child of God!
In other words, as Christians we are given the gift of “true sight,” a perspective that is not bound to the mere circumstantial evidence of what our physical eyes can perceive nor the erroneous conclusions our mortal minds can reach. We are permitted, through His Word, to see reality as it truly is which is neither the self-gratifying denial of the evils of the world, nor the gloom and despair of hopelessness.
With this new set of “glasses” we can see with eyes of faith the hand of God moving in and through our lives! Spiritually speaking, as we permit the Holy Spirit of God to open our minds, our eyesight gets better and better, as we become more and more accustomed to using the “prescription lenses” of the Bible.
How strange then, if we try to slip them off and put on our faces the old “glasses” we once wore or that someone else wears who hasn’t yet experienced God’s healing of spiritual blindness! An occasion which finds us trying out or trusting a perspective that is alien to the promises of God may give us a momentary feeling of “giddiness” but has no other ultimate conclusion than that of making us spiritually sick!
What about you? What glasses are on your face right now? By whose perspective are you living life? Is it a perspective being influenced by the common assumptions of society? Is it a philosophy that is built upon human wisdom? Does it puff up your ego? Does it deny your God-given worth? Is it something others share but stands in stark contrast to the Word of God? Is it something you’ve put together from your (limited) experiences and you’ve decided that it just “feels right”?
Be careful! The lenses through which you view life will dramatically affect the way you spend your life! Not only does your eternal life depend on it, but also the fruitfulness of your life that may lead others to a future forever with God.
Get into God’s Word! Prayerfully turn your heart and mind over to His inspiration as He speaks to you through the Bible! Let Him make “changing your mind” an ongoing process – not that you flip back and forth from one conclusion to another on any given day, but that you allow Him to lead you further and deeper into His life-changing truth so that even those things you think and feel you know become new as He applies those principles and promises into new areas of your mind, heart and actions!
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV).
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at [email protected]