During the Cold War Era, propaganda was the order of the day. I was told of an interesting report in a major state-controlled newspaper in Moscow. It reported a great international race that had taken place between Russia and the United States (the only two participants). Although the U.S. won, the Russian newspaper reported, “In the great race, Russia finished in second place, and the United States finished next to last.”
This story serves as ‘a case in point’ for the thoughts I want to share. Our perspective on circumstances in life will influence our attitudes and our actions. If our perception is inaccurate, it will have an adverse impact on how we live. Many lives have been ruined by a fault view of a situation, by misreading other people, or by erroneous self-assessment.
Scripture can help us gain a right perspective:
- “For the Lord does not see as man see; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b, NKJV)
- The Apostle John speaking about Jesus said, “…He knew all men and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:24b-25)
- “As he (man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick (wicked); who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
- “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV)
James Allen, in his book ‘As a Man Thinketh’, offers this observation: “A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances. ” Allen continues by adding, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.” Once we realize we may not be seeing things as they really are, we must also realize the necessity of having the Lord in our lives to maintain the right perspective. Therefore, we need ‘the mind of Christ’ residing in us.
Satan attempts to distort our perspective. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). In order to maintain a correct perspective, we must have a personal relationship with the Lord. We should then study God’s word and keep fellowship with people of faith who reflect the mind of Christ.
The Apostle Paul provides this advice, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things,” (Philippians 4:8-9).
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
(Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
~ Brother Roy