Originally published Thursday, 28 June 2018.
There is always more than meets the eye. Yet often we fail to realize this. Instead we notice . . .
A “look” from another woman. She is angry at me because I didn’t sympathize enough with her problems.
The lack of texts from a friend. She doesn’t really think I add that much to our relationship.
The expressions on our kids’ faces at dinnertime. They hate all my food and think I am a horrible mother.
The welcoming interest of another woman. She already has a million friends, I am sure, and would never really want to hang out with me.
The ordinary comment of our husband. He thinks I am not doing a good job.
The random remark of a family member. She is trying to send me a backhanded message.
But what if we’ve translated these things wrong? Maybe the “look” is because she is thinking about her own difficult life at home. The lack of texts is because all of us are busy. The faces at dinnertime are because the kids are tired. The interest from that woman is because she really likes you. The ordinary comment is just an ordinary comment, and the random remark was never directed at you.
Perceptions, assumptions, and judgments prevent us from seeing the heart of the story. But the heart is always what God cares for most. So we write a person off, labeling her offensive; meanwhile there is a whole lengthy, tear-soaked backstory that had nothing to do with us and everything to do with the deep pain in her. We miss the depth of relationship God was prepared to bring. We miss a ministry opportunity, many times. In nearly every case, faulty translations see one angle, our own.
But there are other angles to see from:
1. When you look in the mirror, you notice the deep wrinkles, the age spots, and the droopy eyes. You depressively tell yourself you’re expendable.
New angle: You laugh a lot. You smile a lot. You’ve lived life with all your heart. You have wisdom to share with the world. You wear life well.
2. You work as a waitress to put yourself through school. Yet all you can think, as everyone else is getting their master’s degrees and PhDs is: I’m dumb. And you’re missing out on life because you’re not doing more.
New angle: You are investing in your future. To get somewhere requires sacrifices. There is a purpose to where you are today, and God has plans to use you right where you are.
3. People hurt your feelings again. People always let you down.
New angle: People are people. They are not perfect. God is. I can choose to let God’s Word define me in such great magnitude that other people’s actions and reactions don’t injure me so.
There is more than meets the eye. It is all about our perception.
Kelly Balarie is the author of the book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright © July 2018. Used by permission.
Battle Ready is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You'll gain practical wisdom, like how to
· make new habits stick in just five steps
· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters
Visit www.iambattleready.com for a free prayer journal.
Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today's Christian Woman. Kelly's work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts.
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