Timeless truths from Philippians 1:12-14.
Perspective is everything. But perspective is not reality. Unfortunately, in our humanistic culture, there are those who think that their perspective is reality. The problem with that is that our perspectives change, so that means reality changes. That philosophy unravels with personal growth and life change.
Our perspective is determined by the lens through which we see life. If we look at life like Eeyore, everything is gloom and doom. Some have that perspective. Others wear rose colored glasses and they see all of life as positive. Jesus Christ is the only person ever to see life perfectly. His perspective was reality because He had no sin to damage His soul – the window through which we see everything. His thoughts were perfect as well as His perspective.
As fallen people who have damaged souls, we must learn to constantly seek to mature in our perspective of life. This happens when we challenge our thinking through the truth of God’s Word. As we listen, submit, and live the truths of Scripture, our perspective of life changes.
That brings us to this powerful example of Paul. He is imprisoned. Chained between two guards. He could have seen his circumstances negatively. Paul didn’t deny the reality of his circumstances but he saw them through a different lens. As a follower of Jesus, I want to see life like Paul and other incredible disciples of Christ.
Paul’s perspective determined his actions. Just as yours will. You respond to situations based on your perception. Keep in mind that your beliefs shape your perception and therefore your perception.
How did Paul respond to his imprisonment? He shared Jesus with the Praetorian Guard. He actually led many to Christ and in turn, this elite group of guards for the Royal family began to share their faith with Caesar’s household. Many were saved. That is what Paul did. His actions were based on his perspective.
Paul saw his imprisonment as an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God. That is the key. I imagine that we are all put in many different circumstances. Will we ask the question: How can I advance the Kingdom of God in this particular set of circumstance? The question avoids the selfish occupation captured in the question- Why is this happening to ME? The mature follower sees every set of circumstances as a divine appointment to advance the Kingdom of God.
We are all on this journey. Let us seek first His Kingdom. That will change our perspective of our current situation. We will respond in a way that honors Christ and furthers His cause.
“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14 NASB