I’ll never forget flying into Phoenix some time back and the pilot said, “Welcome to Phoenix, the temperature today is 112 degrees…but it’s a dry heat.” It seems to me that it doesn’t matter what kind of heat you call it; it is still HEAT!!
This week in Dallas we’ve had the coldest week in nearly twenty-five years. It is supposed to get down to seven or eight degrees tonight. The Super Bowl is being played here this week and at media day one of the players was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Somebody asked him what he thought about the cold weather here and he replied with something like, “This is not cold, man, I’m used to thirty-five below!”
I guess it’s just a matter of perspective. Perspective - [per-spek-tiv] “the state of one's ideas, a mental view or prospect.” So it’s all how you view something, it’s about an individual’s state of mind. It seems that much of life is based on one’s perspective.
To some degree our happiness with our situation in life is based on perspective. What is considered poverty to one individual may be considered affluence to someone else.
Some people are always bashing our country. We are too affluent, we don’t do enough for the disenfranchised, we don’t help people in other countries enough, etc. They overlook the fact that this is the most generous nation in the world and that many individuals share much of what they have with others.
Some people have never studied the history of this great nation, they have never learned of the sacrifices made by our forefathers to win the freedoms we enjoy. They fail to remember the blood that was shed by many to help make this country great. They have forgotten that men and women who risked their lives every day built this country. Perhaps they have the wrong perspective.
It is also true that there are people who are always bashing the church. They talk about how divided we are. They are critical of our allegiance to Scripture. They seem to despise most everything about the church. The prevailing attitude among some seems to be that if something is not new, it must be wrong.
Others take the exact opposite perspective. If something is new, it can’t be right. We can’t sing new songs, we can’t use new translations of the Bible, well, you get the point.
Through the years it has been most interesting to hear comments from people when they visit a church. At times we have had people say that a particular congregation was the most unfriendly church they had ever seen. We have had other people who may have visited at exactly the same time say proclaim these to be the friendliest people we have ever met. It’s all about perspective.
Jesus came to this earth to bring us an “abundant life.” (John 10:10) He wants us to rejoice in this life (Philippians 4:4). He also wants His people to be united (Ephesians 4:2) and to love one another (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11). We need to work to develop His perspective (Philippians 2:5).
Our perspective about life will in large part determine whether or not we are able to fulfill His wishes. So what about you; is your glass half empty or half full?
Dear Father up in Heaven, please help us to live this life with the right perspective. Help us to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to bring us. Help us, dear God, to be thankful for the blessings of this life, especially the spiritual blessings that we have because of Jesus. Father, forgive us when we whine and help us to love You more each day. In the Name of our Savior, amen.