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12:00 PM   [09 Feb 2020 | Sunday]

The Real Enemy (Part Six)

 Your perspective can be a friend or a foe. The great thing about it, is you can change it if it’s been working against you. But if that’s going to happen, you have to be willing to get outside of your comfort zone. It requires work and deep thinking. Moreover, it’s important to address your imagination and how you use it. The imagination is the place of vision and creativity. One thing that’s been laced into the fabric of this blog series is the need to embrace truth. Not just any truth, God’s truth, the way He intended us to know it. Two components that will help in changing your viewpoint are questions, and the realization not everything is black and white. There are more explanations available than what we might assign to a given set of circumstances, or even human behavior, including our own. Jesus gave us some steps to help us along the way.

   Matthew 16:14-25 If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.

   While you are important, it is necessary to put away self-importance. The kind in which everything evolves around you. This perspective can be very destructive. Being self-absorbed creates untold blind spots, since it’s a major component of self-deception. It makes numerous things more personal than they ever should. For instance, when someone cuts you off in traffic, he meant to do that to you; no one else. In fact, you were his target. He calculated every move he made during the day, just so he could time things just right. The perpetrator knew exactly when you would be at the location of the incident. That sounds ridiculous, but in the heat of the moment, it can feel that way. This is where questions come into play. One might ask, did this guy really intend to cut me off personally, or was it happenstance? “Maybe, he’s just a jerk and he does that to people all the time!” What makes you so sure, especially if you never met him before? Perhaps, there were other possibilities: he didn’t see you; he was stressed out and preoccupied, and totally unaware of your presence. Options!

   Let’s take this to another level, something actually more personal as it relates to self-importance and the manner we use our imaginations. Part of it is connected with the way we see ourselves. If we properly love ourselves, we can envision things on the plus side, which lends itself to more healthy relationships. If we were to believe we hold no value, we would tend to visualize constant rejection. For example, you invite some friends over for dinner, but they are unable to make it due to a previous engagement. Someone with a healthy perspective would tend to take the explanation at face value. If you were the latter, you might believe it was an excuse, so they wouldn’t have to spend time with you. “They don’t really like me.” A reasonable explanation was turned into a false narrative based on insecurity. This is where questions are advantageous. Is that really true, or does it simply feel that way? Would they be available on a different day? Perhaps, they have a loaded schedule. What have they said or done to make you believe they don’t like you? Is the belief founded on truth or the way you filter it?

   What you believe about God in relation to yourself will influence whether you receive a God-given vision, or one of hopelessness. If you believe He loves you, you will be better positioned to receive His blessings; if you don’t, you will be less able to receive. Here’s where questions come into play: what does the Bible say about God’s love? It would really behoove some of you to let the Bible contradict what you’ve heard all your life. You are worthy of love. Jesus made that clear at the Cross. Do you really believe God created you, just so He could despise you? How does that fit His nature? Dare to go against the grain! Be willing to change your perspective!

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