Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The Danger of a Broken Lens
My in-depth study of Ephesians has brought me to my knees several times. The lies we believe about ourselves and about God can and will put us in bondage. I'm passionate about reminding people of their identity in Christ. We all need to be reminded (that was in essence what Paul was doing when he wrote Ephesians) that we are a new creation.
What we believe about God is crucial because it affects what we believe about everything else. A distorted or damaged view of God will distort the way we see just about everything and everyone around us.
It makes sense. I believe that often times we fail to realize that what is causing the irritation and turmoil with our souls is not necessarily the people or the circumstances we think are annoying us; rather, the problem just might be that we are seing things trhough a damaged lens.
One of those areas that is particular impacted by our view of God ironically is our view of ourselves. If we don't see God as He really is - if we believe things about Him that are not true - invariably, we will have a distored view of ourselves. Which is why Ephesians is chock-full of reminders of who God is.
Is the storm in your life overwhelming you right now? Do you feel worthless? Reexamine your view of God. If we have constructed in our minds a god who is weak and impotent and not in control of every detail of the universe, we might just be seeing ourselves as being helpless and most likely will be overwhelmed by the storms and circumstances that surround us.
He is holy, He is good, He is faithful, He is eternal, He is forgiving, He is full of grace and mercy, He is righteous, He is sovereign, He is love...this is truth!
Our view of God can be distorted if we are not pursuing a personal relationship with Him, not reading His Word to get to know Him, and believing lies about Him because we are only looking at circumstances and irritations around us, all these can cause us to see Him through a broken lens.
If we have believed lies about God, we will most likely believe lies about ourselves.
I have some very special people in my life who truly struggle with seeing themselves as God sees them. (This is one of the reasons I am determined to pour into my own children reminders of who they are in Christ - if we tell them over and over again when they are young, they hopefully will remember it when they are older).
I think that some of these special people in my life determine their sense of worth by the input and opinions of others. Sometimes input can be helpful and accurate, but not always. If, for some reason, the person we are listening to is looking through a defective lens, his or her vision will be distorted. Some of us have lived all our lives in an emotional prison beause we have accepted what a broken mirror said to us about ourselves.
Please remember how powerful your words are. One simple sentence heard as a child can haunt a person for years. Likewise, one simple word of encouargement can empower a person for life as well.
I use to teach a class on interviewing skills and making yourself marketable. I had this one particular student in both my keyboarding class and this interviewing class. In keyboarding, I would tell her often what a great speller she was because her timed writings were fast and accurate. So, one day while I was video taping her mock interview, when asked what her strengths were, she said with confidence, "Well, I'm a great speller!" You see, ask my boys to describe themselves. I know exactly what they will say...because we have been very intentional in speaking life into them over and over again!
Check the lens you've been looking through!
Don't let others determine your worth! 1 Peter shows us how Jesus' sense of worth was determined, not by what others thought of Him, but by the Truth as expressed by His heavenly Father; "He was rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him." We too are chosen by God and precious to Him!!
I remember having value explained to me by asking if it is possible that someone who did not recognize or appreciate fine art would toss a masterpieces into the trash. Would that make the art any less valuable? NO. The true worth of the art would be seen when an art collector spotted it and said, "That is a priceless piece, and I'm willing to pay any amount to acquire it."
When God sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to bear our sin on the cross, He put a price tag on us - He declared the value of our soul to be greater than the value of the whole world.