I really do own a pair of rose-colored glasses. When I’m wearing them, life looks great. Besides appearing quite fashionable, my surroundings become bright and cheery. Flowers are touched with hints of rose glow; the sky dusted with shades of pink radiance. I feel warm, at peace with the world, I am happy.
Sounds nice doesn’t it? But wait … there’s another story.
I also have a pair of brown sunglasses. When I’m sporting these, those warm hues of rose are missing. Instead, the horizon feels dull and drab. I’m tired. I want to take a nap.
My outlook is altered by the choice of the lenses I wear.
The reality is the world doesn’t change simply because I swap glasses. What I’m viewing is just what it is. But the lens I choose changes the way I see the world and the way I see the world affects the way I feel.
That’s why the power of my choice is so important. I get to decide how I will interpret my world and that decision colors everything.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Charles Swindol who says; Life is 10% what happens and 90% how I choose to respond to it. I’ve taught myself to live by these words and it hasn’t always been easy, but keeping this principle as an anchor in my life has helped me to steady myself in the midst of grey and stormy circumstances.
One afternoon I was visiting with a 20-something year old girl when she blurted out to me “My life sucks. No one likes me. Everyone is against me. I hate my life.”
“Wow, I said, that’s such a sad perspective. How could you change it? Is there anything you could be thankful for?”
“No! There is nothing good in my life.”
This girl was wearing dark-colored lenses and she could only see what was wrong. Although I personally knew of many things in her life that were worth praising God for, she would only focus on the unfair circumstances of life and how people had hurt her.
While I’m not suggesting that we should casually brush off the wounds and hurts that life inevitably brings, I do believe there is a way to reframe our perspective so we can purge our mind from the toxic, self-defeating thoughts and turn our hearts toward Jesus and His irresistible hope.
Often, our joy and peace of mind is predicated by a choice that says, “No matter what life throws at me, I am an overcomer through Jesus and His victory! I will feel this, face this and move forward.”
I’m also aware that when we choose a mind-set of victory, it changes the story we are telling ourselves. For behind all those negative thoughts, is a story—a story we are telling ourselves about our situation. It’s one of defeat and despair. It goes something like this:
- I’ll never be good enough to keep this job. The management knows it too.
- No one thinks I’m worth loving, so forget them.
- Life is unfair. Everyone else has people to help them. I’m alone.
- This trial is too much for me. I’ll never get over it.
On and on it goes. The inner narrative is so discouraging that those words and thoughts strip us of our joy and confidence, not to mention strength and motivation.
When we tell a better story—a truer story—we can face life with courage, while keeping our joy and inner peace. That story says:
- I may not know everything about this job, but I can learn.
- I am loveable and people will be willing to help me.
- Life is unfair, but I can make it with the help of God and others.
- This trial has come to pass. I can do all things through Jesus Christ. I will not be overcome!
This is the mind-set Jesus Christ wants us to cultivate and live with.
So let me ask you—what color lenses are you wearing? Are you willing to let God put His lenses on you?
Jesus, open our eyes to see the power of your love and glory! Amen