Have your ever asked yourself, “Am I a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person?” The statement often made of others speaks to the difference that our perspective on life makes. It is often very interesting that two people looking at the same circumstances can see things differently. I share this, though, not to justify or condemn a person’s perspective, but to cause us to ponder the difference my perspective makes on life.
This past Sunday in our series, “The Songs of Christmas” we looked at a passage from the Christmas account known as “Mary’s Song.” What stood out to me is that, her “song” reminds us of the importance of having the right perspective. You can check out the message here. It is easy to imagine that a young teen faced with the announcement of a of pregnancy could have taken a few different perspectives!
The Bible reminds us of the power of having the right perspective in a number of passages. I was recently reminded of this truth from the Nation of Israel’s first attempt to enter the promised land. The account of the individuals, Joshua and Caleb, is recorded in Numbers chapter 13. You might recall that leaders were chosen from each of the 12 tribes to explore that land and bring back a report.
The account reveals that the land was all and more than they had expected, but with one caveat. There were giants in the land. It is worth noting that the survey team did not differ on the facts, or the blessing or the challenge but there was a huge difference on how the nation should respond. The team was split 10-2. The majority felt that the challenges were too great to overcome. The two in favor of moving forward, Joshua and Caleb, wholeheartedly recommending moving forward. Let me state again, the best I can tell, both sides agreed to the fact of the blessings and challenge. So, what made the difference? It was perspective. But it was more than just two different opinions on the situation. The difference was on whether they should trust God and move forward or trust themselves. The question we should ask ourselves, “Is what would the Lord have us do?”
This is an intersection of life that we need to approach with caution. It is easy for us to rationalize or as I like to say, tell ourselves “rational lies” to justify what we want. It is easy to convince ourselves that our preferred choice is God’s will. I digress, this is a much longer discussion for another time on discerning God’s will in my life. My desire here is simply to challenge us to begin by looking at life from God’s perspective. This is exactly why Caleb could call the people to move forward. “But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”” (Numbers 13:30) We see the same thing in Mary’s song.
It is hard to see things from God’s perspective if you do not know God. There many ways to do this. The challenge is to pick the one that works best for you. I would argue that best way to grow in your knowledge of the Lord is to invest in reading the Bible. Other ways would include attending Sunday services, or listening to the teaching of Biblical content. It can also be developed through classes and small group settings. The power of a Godly perspective on life not only matters for the big things in life but also in the little things too. I guess the issue is not how empty or full you glass but what you are putting into the glass!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson