Inspiration:Time to change the lenses you see your world through.
Driving down US highway 101 at night my son, Caleb, asked me if I was struggling seeing the road even with my driving glasses. Embarrassed to admit to a 12 year old that it was the case, I responded “Son, I am fine and since I know where we are going I do not need to read the signs.” Then the young and fearless young son said, “Mom no offense, but when is the last time you saw your eye doctor? Maybe your driving glasses need a vision adjustment.” I responded by appreciating his concern and admitted that I had not gone to see my doctor for 3 years, and then promised to take his advice. Dropping him off at school the next day, he grabbed his backpack, gave me a hug and said “Mom remember to make your eye appointment. Right there at my son’s school’s parking lot, I called the doctor’s office and booked an appointment to see my eye doctor. Not surprisingly, my great eyes needed stronger lenses. I can now see clearly, and I am confident and bold driving at night. I feel in charge of my driving without the fear of missing the exits.
In life it is easy to continue looking at our circumstances the same way every day. We view our problems, failures and success through the same mental lenses we have used over years. Truth is, as long as we continue using the same lenses; we miss a lot of opportunities. With my 3 year old eye glasses, I thought I was seeing clearly, but little did I know I needed a new pair. When we refuse to change our mindsets and cultural beliefs and think that our world will change and conform to our views, we set ourselves up for failure. Because when this does not happen, we get discouraged and give up or fall into depression. There are many lenses we wear in our daily lives that have led us to where we are today. We are a sum total of the thoughts we have allowed and entertained in our minds and these thoughts shape the way we see the world and how we behave and treat others. In fact, our thoughts create our internal world which produces our outside world. Proverbs 23 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV).
You can be perfectly happy in and through the storms of life if you discipline your thought life. Paul says, “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, NKJV). We are responsible for the world we create by what we constantly think about. Perfect happiness comes from first having a relationship with God, and renewing your mind daily, by fighting to have thoughts that are driven from the confidence we have in God and knowing what thoughts our God has towards our lives. Jeremiah says, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plan to bring about the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11, GNT). God has plans to set you up for success, plans to heal your hurts, and wounds, plans to walk with you and never to let you walk alone, plans to lead you to paths of your righteousness. He has plans to give you peace in the storm, plans to rescue you from the hands of your tormentors, and plans to set a table, sit you down for a meal and command your enemies to come see, come join you, not by sitting down with you, but to watch you eat; to watch you jump beyond the limitations they had set for you.
I encourage us to analyze the lenses through which we have been viewing ourselves through. Maybe it is the lenses of poverty, lack, loneliness, abandonment, depression, addiction, sickness, death or what others have said about us. They may be lens of our family background, upbringing, our past hurts and wounds and these have made us prisoners of failure and fear. I have good news for us! Let us ask the spiritual eye specialist Dr Jesus Christ, He will help us by giving each of us custom-made lenses through which He intended us to see ourselves. Once we have dealt with ourselves then ask him to give us new lens through which we will see others. Let us remove our judgmental lenses because God has not called us to judge his people. Friend, it is easy to judge others simply because you are not wearing their shoe or you have not walked in shoes of similar length or depth. We all go through the same problems, but they affect us differently. I remember a woman in church who had just gone through a divorce and another woman was talking to her and said, “I understand the pain you are going though, because I have been there.” This is not totally true, we never understand or relate with people’s pain on the same level, degree, or depth. It is true both women went through a divorce, but they never had the same experience in their divorces. I will give another example. My cultural background does not regard animals such as dogs, cats the same way the western world culture does. That is why when my friends in the western world experience the death of their pet and take days to grieve and mourn, I will be lying to tell them that I understand their pain because I do not know what it means to own a dog as a companion, or even care for a dog or cat. If I wanted I could water down their pain by just saying, “It is just a dog or cat”. However, I choose not to because I have no clue of what they are going through, and this is one of the moments we have to just offer our support by being there for them so we can be shoulder to cry on, be an ear listen to them, and ask what we can do to help them go through what they are going through. So let us refrain from entertaining thoughts of judgment towards others, love people and pray for them. Let God do his work in people’s lives. We can never win anyone to Christ by trying to beat them down with our personal opinions. I hear people tell me “if I were you, I should have not done this or that”. My response is always, “Praise the Lord you are not me, because it seems that if you did what I did, you could have been pretty miserable, but I am not.” We will attract new joy and we will be perfectly happy in our own company if we change the lens through which we see things. Chances are, we will have good relationships and be self confident. Then we will not blame others for our loneliness or lack of relationships, but what is going on inside our head and heart.
It is pretty much the same with all the circumstances we are in right now. Our outer abundance will reflect our inner abundance, and our outer lack will reflect our inner lack. If we want to change our circumstances, we must become the person in the circumstances we want to live in. We must change if we want our circumstances to change” As we build our inner strength by watching our thoughts, we will begin changing and the world around us will change.
This week, friend, I encourage and challenge us to watch our thoughts, because thoughts are seeds, seeds germinate and produce after their own. You are only as strong in any area of your life whether in your health, finances, physically as you are mentally.
By Evangelist Isabella Mwango
Have a blessed week and if you are in the San Jose area please come join me on November 8th, 2014 for a time of breakfast fellowship at the “Beverly Heritage Hotel Milpitas, CA, 1820 Barber Lane Milpitas at 10:00 am PST. For more information visit us at “http://www.vesselforhonor.