Our perspectives can change when we’re put in a new situation. They can also change when we think about how others see us. The final part in this series is about how God views us, and how that certainly should influence (perhaps even change!) our perspectives of ourselves and the way we interact with others.
God doesn’t look at us the way others do. He really doesn’t care how our hair looks today, if the various pieces of our outfit worked with the others, what year/make/model of vehicles we drive, or how much money we make. Those are all things that may seem great right now, but in the grand scheme of things really don’t mean squat. Instead, God looks at the heart. What pleases God about our lives?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
Do we have differing ways for how we treat others? Act justly. Do we take revenge, wish that karma bites someone, or revel in the punishment of others for even minor things? Love mercy. (Mercy is an entirely different topic, but the gist of it is that is means deliverance from judgment or not being punished as we deserve.) Do we view ourselves as better than others? Do we assume more significance than others in our relationships with God because we grew up in the church, are in ministry, serve our communities, go to a Christian school, etc.? Walk humbly with your God. To be humble means not being proud or arrogant, instead having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, or subservience.
The passage above sounds really easy to do, but it’s not. The most important part to me is to “walk humbly with your God.” If we do that, the other two should naturally occur. It’s so hard to let go of self — to let go of how we allow people to influence our ego. If we give up all of that, what is our purpose? I think each person wants to have significance and to matter. The question is to whom we are significant and to whom we matter. The answer is simply and solely: God.
If we are trying to be significant for any other person (and this includes our spouse, our children, our boss, our friends, our church) in addition to God, we will fall short. If we focus solely on God and being enough for him, is there any doubt that he will take care of all those other details (the way others view us)? There are many instances in the Bible where it cites that if we humble ourselves before God, he will lift us up. This isn’t just lifting our spirits. He promises to:
- Give us good gifts
- Take care of our needs
- Give us power to overcome evil
- Deal with our enemies
How much more do we need? This new year, I encourage you to turn your perspective to center fully on God. Make him first in your life, and all else will fall into place. Not sure how to do that? Start with God’s road map — his word, the Bible. Read it, read it again. Pray. Seek counsel from fellow Christians. Be part of the body of Christ (be an active participant in church). Then read your Bible some more.