FaceBook Live – July 2019
PERSPECTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING
“Choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days.” (Deut. 30:19-20)
Quote: Choose Life!
“Choose action, not rest. Choose truth, not fantasy. Choose a smile, not a frown.”
~ Jim Rohn
One constant element in life is change! Change occurs in predictable patterns, e.g., sunrise and sunset, the seasons, birth – childhood – ageing – death. The patterns are there but the variables are different. No day is exactly the same, seasons vary, each life is unique and different. A life pattern is the same, but environments can be radically different and circumstances constantly change. What affects our responses to our life-circumstances is our perspective and understanding of the circumstances, and even of life itself. The perspective we have of any particular issue or situation affects the choices we make, and our choices determine the outcomes and the results we will have. Obviously, therefore, it is of vital importance to gain a clear and accurate perspective or view, and have a clear understanding of it, and of life in general! This is not always easy.
Our initial perspective is shaped by the environment we are born into and the values and beliefs impressed upon us by our family, society, education system, and nation. Imagine a child born into an Ultra-Orthodox religious home, or into a godless Communist system, or a radical terror-based Islamic community, or a materialistic, hedonistic society, etc., etc., etc. That child is deeply affected by the view of life imparted to it. If the general perspective imparted is false, or dangerously distorted, what hope is there for that child? Sadly, humanly speaking, very little. A great lesson we learn from Nature is what we sow, that will we reap. If hatred, falsehood, and violence are sown – that will be reaped. If love, truth, and kindness are sown, that will be reaped. Man has the choice of the seed he will sow. The crops reaped will either be life or death. Our verse this month highlights the exhortation to “Choose Life!” True life is found in the Giver of Life, our Creator, and He has outlined the way to life in the truth of His unchanging, eternal Word.
IN HIS IMAGE
What is the hope for every child? The one hope is found in its God-breathed soul – or spirit. In the deepest essence that is the true “being” of every person created by God in His image. Only humans have the deep inner capacity of free will and a spirit that yearns to be united with the Source of its existence. It is one’s spirit that cannot be satisfied with any worldly form or perspective of life other than that which its Creator God intended. That is a radiant life of truth, love, and joy in close relationship with Him, and which only can be found in Him!
When one’s spirit ones to be united with its Source, it prompts a person to seek for truth, to find the knowledge and understanding that feeds it and nourishes and refreshes it. God always, in His great love for each one, places ways and means for His truth to be found and grasped. The hungry soul knows and responds when it comes across this truth and can joyfully draw closer to its Father God.
What happens when we are blessed enough to find and know the One God and discover the good news that His Son and Messiah, Yeshua, has paid the price and made the way to the Father for all? As we are told:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). And as Yeshua said, emphasizing the importance of the Word and will of God in an astonishing proclamation: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
There is an unfortunate, only too human, pattern we can fall into….one of familiarity. We start taking things for granted – including our relationship with Him. It, sadly, can happen in our human relationships too. Without the discipline of remembering the value inherent in the relationship and paying constant, daily, attention to our role in it, we start taking things for granted. We let things slide, we lose our curiosity and interest and stop learning and growing. Instead of choosing life, we let things become stale and slowly the relationship wilts away and can eventually die. We can suffer the consequences of neglect, self-pity, distorted perceptions and lack of direction or we can allow the potential our Father has placed within each one of us to blossom through self-discipline and clarity of direction.
What is of great importance, and influences the choices we make, is our perspective of Self. What could we be taking for granted about ourselves? Do we have a clear and true perspective of who we truly are? Often we may realise that we are not fulfilling our greatest potential, or developing our God-given gifts to their fullest extent. I don’t believe, in this lifetime, we are actually capable of doing that…so, that means we should be constantly growing, aiming higher, becoming more of the person God created us to be and reflecting more of His image, and life, and light into the world. We cannot become satisfied that we have “done it all” or, on the other hand, believe that “nothing can be done – this is how I am!” We need to be constantly aware of the great potential our Father has deposited into each of HIs children and be working with Him to realize that potential more and more.
Why? Because this is in accord with His will and plan. In any area we need to, we can choose to bring positive change and growth. When we make a determined choice, and trust for His help and strength, it will be there and it will happen. We cannot do it in our own strength but understand, as a teacher of mine once said, in effect, that: “The power of the Holy Spirit is behind every righteous choice we make in order to help us perform it!”
We have to play our part, however, and this requires self-discipline.
Growth is a natural God-ordained process and should, therefore, not be stressful.
Stress is a huge “fall-out” of our Western, modern, fast-paced lifestyle that places increased focus on working the hardest, being the greatest, aiming to reach unattainable goals – to “crunch” every situation! As a result, American Health records show that:
- 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental health problem every year.
- 6.9% of adults suffer major debilitating depression
- 18.1% have anxiety disorders
- 64% of adults feel stressed by work and/or money
- 74% said they had a physical and emotional problem and symptom due to stress in the previous month.
- 91% !! of Generation Z’ers (ages 15 – 21) said they had experienced symptoms of stress-related problems the previous month!
In fact, across the world the leading cause of disability is depression!
The more we become aware of the reality of who we are created to be, as a child of God, the more clear our perspective and understanding of life can become and the more we will achieve a balanced sense of well-being. We will be more able to cope with the normal stresses of life. We will begin to realise our potential and fulfilment in work more productively and fruitfully, in whatever He has called us to do.
And, as a result, we will be more effective and make a greater contribution to Tikkun Olam – the healing and restoration of the world. When we choose life – His life, we can, with His love and help, shine more of His light of truth and brightness into this beautiful but hurting and hungry world.
~ Keren Hannah