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Transforming Identity Optics to Grace Relations

Transforming Identity Optics to Grace Relations

by Dr. Nicolas Ellen, ACBC Certified Biblical Counselor and Fellow

What Lens Are You Looking Through?

Correcting Your Vision and Lifestyle through the Lens of Proverbs 3:5–6

My family enjoys taking pictures. We have pictures of food, fellowships, travel—you name it. These pictures remind us of the who, what, when, where and how in our family dynamic. Sometimes the pictures come out blurry and distorted. When that happens, we view our past experiences from a distorted perspective.

As we deal with the pandemic, the racial tensions, the political partisanship, the financial challenges, and culture wars that are happening before our eyes, we must check the lens of our soul to make sure we do not have a distorted view of what is around us. A distorted view will cause us to live according to what seems right and sounds right according to our own understanding, rather than God’s.

How do we develop a distorted view? I believe a distorted view of life grows through four basic steps.

First, a distorted view of life begins with our personal experiences. All of us have had triumphs, trials, tragedies, and tensions in our lives. We all have had to deal with delays, denials, and devastations, and we all have had some delights in our lives. All these experiences have some kind of influence on us.
Second, if we are not guided or guarded by truth, we will develop a personal interpretation of our experiences apart from a biblical interpretation. In other words, we will lean on our own understanding rather than trusting God and His love and His plan. The problem with human observation without a biblical perspective is that our view of life can become completely distorted.

Third, when we continue to make human observations without a biblical interpretation, we will develop belief systems about life and living that are antithetical to a biblical view of life. We will have a distorted view of all we have experienced and are experiencing. Our distortions of reality become the center of our reality.

Fourth, these belief systems we have formed that are antithetical to a biblical view of life result in words and actions that are unbiblical and destructive to our lives and the lives of people around us. The only people we want to talk to are the people who believe as we do. Overall, when we have a distorted view of life, we want to deal with people and circumstances according to their color, class, or political beliefs. In other words, the color of a person’s skin, their financial situation, or their political views determine the way we treat them instead of our love for God and commitment to His will. This leaves no room for building relationships as an ambassador for Jesus to build His Kingdom. Consequently, there will be confusion, disorder, and every evil thing around because we are living by wisdom from below instead of wisdom from above.

As soldiers for God, can we accomplish the mission He gave us with this mentality and manner of life? Let us consider a different way to view things as we review the familiar passage of Proverbs 3:5–6.

Looking at Life through the Lens of Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
– Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT

My vision is not good. I have a hard time seeing things far away. There have been moments in my driving when my poor vision made it hard to drive well. I thank God for my vision doctor. She has given me the right prescription to help me see things as they are and not from a distorted view.

We all have a vision doctor. His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus not only changed our position from sinner to saint when we put our trust in His person and work, but He has also changed our condition from within. We now have the position and the power to see reality and to live according to God’s will in that reality. God has given us the ability to see through His eyes. We can put on our new glasses for life by understanding and applying Proverbs 3:5–6.

First, we must trust in the Lord. To trust in the Lord means to rely upon Him, to put confidence in Him, to rest on His power and provision for our lives. We must trust that God has complete control of existence. We must trust that God knows exactly what He is doing. We must trust that God has our best interest at heart.

No matter what is happening in your life, God has control over it. He is working out His ultimate glory and your greatest good, and He has your best interest at heart. God has not brought you this far to leave you. God will not let you suffer in your situation without eventually bringing you through it or providing relief or comfort in it.

Second, we must not lean on our own understanding of life. We can no longer trust what we see and feel. We can no longer go with our gut. We can no longer follow our hearts. We can no longer go with the flow of what seems right and sounds right. The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, we cannot trust the wisdom and insights that come from our hearts.

Third, we must acknowledge God in all our ways. To do this, we must take a serious look at all aspects of our lives and learn God’s truth. In other words, we need to understand what God has to say about how we are to think, desire, speak, live, and relate to others. As we learn His truth, we are to live His truth and love others by His truth as we are learning and living it ourselves. This leads to challenging what we see, believe, and feel through the grid of what God describes and prescribes for us to live. In essence, this leads us to renew our minds so we will be transformed in our thinking and God-honoring in our living.

Fourth, we must trust God to straighten us out as we lean on Him. According to Proverbs 3:6, God will show us what paths to take if we trust Him. This means that the more we lean on His descriptions and prescription for life, the more we will be morally upright, productive for Jesus Christ, and satisfied within our souls. Our situations may not change. We may still experience difficulty and failures in life. We may even encounter people and experiences that are hard to handle. But if lean on the Master, He will make us upright, productive, and satisfied, no matter what people or circumstances we encounter.
Overall, when we choose to put on the glasses of Proverbs 3:5–6, we can see life and live life in with biblical eyes. We can have the strength to carry out the mission we have been given by Jesus Christ as we encounter difficult experiences and challenging people.

Seeing and Living through the Lens of Proverbs 3:5–6

When I wear my contacts or my glasses, the world around me is different. I see things I did not see without them. I am sharper in my decisions when driving. I see what is coming better and respond in a more efficient and effective manner. As we start to see and live through the lens of Proverbs 3:5–6, there will be clarity of thought, life, and living. Let me explain.

Your experiences with people and circumstances—both good and bad—will continue to happen throughout your life. But I encourage you to commit to evaluating those experiences through the grid of Scripture instead of using your limited human understanding. As a result, you will develop biblical convictions about your situation, helping you to live according to those biblical guidelines instead of your unbiblical beliefs of the past.

As a soldier you cannot afford to have misinformation or flawed interpretations. This can cause a mission to be derailed, resulting casualties of war—which could include you. Likewise, we as soldiers of Jesus cannot afford to see and deal with people according to the color of their skin, their financial position, or their political views of life. This can only lead to further division, destruction, and even death. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, let us put on the lens of Proverbs 3:5–6 and see and live with people according to the mission of our King, resulting in a life of stability, love, peace, and satisfaction in a world that has been reduced to color, class, and politics. Let us leave no soldier behind in this matter and pursue the freedom of those in bondage to ideologies and practices that keep them from experiencing the grace and mercy of God.


 
Dr. Nicolas Ellen is a member of the Fallen Service March Advisory Board. 

To learn more about Dr. Ellen and the rest of the Advisory Board CLICK HERE
 
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 at 1:31 pm and is filed under Featured, Newsletter, Spotlight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.



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