By Jaime Luce
Perspective, it’s what governs every action we act on. Whether our actions are in thought, word or deed they are all first rung through the place of perspective. Think about it. There isn’t one thing you will do today that wasn’t based off of what you perceive to bring about a particular outcome even if it’s just your routine. You perform daily tasks because in some form or fashion it will bring about results that from your perspective will give you a desired end. If you use a coupon it’s because you believe it to be the best way to save money where as someone else would say that taking the time to look for and cut a coupon was a waste of their time, that their time was more valuable therefore not worth the possible gain in finances. Whether we realize it or not we are all in a race to a finish line. Like a swimmer we are either focused on our stroke, form and even our breath making strides with every reach or we are just treading water. Perspective is everything. It was this understanding that really struck me while reading Jesus’ words in Matthew 5.
This passage contains the famed Beatitudes. Don’t you love it. These are to “be our attitudes”. This chapter is an in your face confrontation of what we are supposed to be as followers of Christ. That our actions are not the final say on whether we’re hitting the mark or not. It’s what’s in our heart and in our thoughts. Jesus doesn’t give it to them nice and sweet. You know we would all prefer the Mary Poppins version. You know, “a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down”. Well I don’t ever see where Jesus ever wasted any time making nice nice. He was a King and our Savior and when your saving a person drowning you don’t waste time making introductions and hoping they like you enough to save you. There’s that perspective again.
We live in a culture of offense. If we don’t like what someone says or the way they say it we think we are right to dismiss what is being said. We have no desire to grow or be made better by the character of God we are supposed to be emulating. My favorite example of this is the 10 Commandments vs. Grace, the Old Testaments Big Bad Law. We say don’t tell me that law. I’m under grace. Well Ma’am, sir, yes you now have the wonderful unmerited favor and amazing grace that said you no longer have to pay the penalty of your sin. It’s truly fantastic and we are no longer under any condemnation. We are made new! But would you want to put on your freshly clean showered body a dirty stinky old piece of clothes. Who does that? God’s precious grace is so powerful it is the tool we use to live a new life, not the old.
Let’s look at the 10 commandments from a fresh perspective. Have you ever thought about what our world would be like if everyone Loved the Lord with all their heart? It would be a world where everyone served him first above all other things in the order he designed. A place where there was no murder, no theft, no lying, no greed and where every family had whole healthy relationships between parents and children. Honor was the standard and everyone enjoyed long life full of blessing. My friends that is paradise! A God given utopia. God’s design for us from the beginning was the Garden of Eden. If your perspective of God is that he’s a mad mean God who is looking how to make life hard and without fun then you have the wrong image of God. He’s a wonderful loving father who wants to provide for our every need in order to live a blessed life. I’ll prove it to you. In Genesis 2 God provides for a perfect environment from giving man a helper in Eve to feeding perfectly the plants with an exact temperature and mist to grow them everyday. A place where he came everyday in the cool of the day to just walk and talk with them. The land had flowing water streams, hills filled with gold and precious stones and complete peace among everything that had breath. But the real showing of God’s merciful and caring character is after Adam and Eve sinned. He didn’t call them out and embarrass them. He asked what happened and then made clothes for them to properly cover their shame. He loved them. Then to protect them from a worse fate of eternal damnation with no hope of salvation he made them leave the garden. This was God loving us as well. We needed salvation from our sin and Jesus was our reconciliation to God and his plan.
His plan was and is still to meet our needs. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “I didn’t come to destroy the law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”. His sacrifice and perfect grace that was imparted to us was a gift to help us live a life that was intended for us, a life like that reflected in the 10 commandments. In our fallen state we could never measure up but with Jesus all things are possible. God said of himself to Paul that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. He knows how to make perfect in us whatever needs help. When we see correctly his plan, we can more easily receive his grace to live a holy and righteous life free from the evil that destroys us. I know this is a challenge but I do challenge you to look at God through a new perspective. To see his laws as a blessing not a list of do’s and don’ts that are made to restrict. That’s not the God I serve. That’s not the character of the one who gave his only son to save a world. The scripture says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That’s the character of our God. Now like Paul let’s live a life worthy of the calling. We press toward the price of the high calling. It’s time to step up and live a redeemed life. His grace is sufficient for you. Life is good with the right perspective.