Here is an article I wrote for my church’s newsletter. It was titled “Changing Your Viewpoint.”
Here is a story that you may have read.
A middle-aged couple moved into a new neighborhood. One morning, while they ate breakfast together, the wife saw her neighbor hanging clean laundry on a line outside. “That laundry is not very clean at all! She doesn’t know how to wash properly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap,” the wife said. Her husband continued to read the paper, keeping silent. For the following weeks, the wife makes the same remarks every time her neighbor comes out to hang her laundry. One month later, the wife is surprised to see that her neighbor has finally hung up laundry that looked clean. “Look, she’s finally learned to wash correctly. Who taught her to do this, I wonder?” she said to her husband. Without missing a beat, the husband replied, “I got up early and cleaned our windows.”
The theme for this issue is “Changing Our Viewpoint.” As we grow up, our minds become programmed. Unfortunately, some of our programming involves negative self talk, which brings a negative slant to life. We might not realize it, but sometimes the lens in which we see ourselves, the world, our families, or our jobs needs to be cleaned like the windows in the story above. It is time to clean your lens, replace your old tapes, and reprogram your mind.
Give yourself permission to unlearn some of what you have been taught. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective to unlearn how you think and feel. Write a new narrative about your life and yourself from what God says about you. Meditate on the promises of God and who God says that you are.
Study the Bible. There are many people whose narratives and viewpoints were changed simply by walking in their true identities in God. God took their histories and used them for their good. Their histories were colorful but needed in order to achieve their destinies in God.
Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Saul persecuted Christians. Paul ministered the Gospel and believed that the Gospel should be preached to Jews and Gentiles. His viewpoint changed after his encounter with God.
Simon’s name was changed to Peter. Simon was a rash, reactive person. Peter was the rock in which the foundation of the church was built. His viewpoint changed through his time with Christ.
Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Jacob was a conniver and thief. Israel wrestled with God and with men and won. His viewpoint changed as he fought for what he wanted.
At the end of the day, it is important to see beyond the natural and see the spiritual side of our journey and battle. Don’t fight against yourself. Don’t fight against your neighbor or family. Fight against the real enemy and know that sometimes our job is to just be still and let God work it out.
How we see our life and the people around us influences our response. It is important to be intentional in choosing how we see things. We can react out of fear and anger if that is our viewpoint. The right perspective empowers us to be more purposeful in our walk.
We invite you to change your viewpoint to change your life.