Perspective, Perception and Patience
As I write this, TDNG Women’s #128 is in progress, and last Sunday, Men’s #114 closed. What a blessing it is to be part of this wonderful and thriving community! If my math is correct, TDNG is enjoying our 30th year in this Kingdom Work. Thank You, Father!
We live in a world where most people do not serve, love, respect or even know our loving Savior. Even worse, He – and those who do serve Him – are the subjects of ridicule and persecution. But, we were warned about such things in Scripture, weren’t we? Some believers I know have a rather fatalistic attitude that things are not going to get better. They point to Scripture that indicates accelerated evil in the End Times and say, “What’s the use? Our destruction is Inevitable; our country will never regain its moral compass, our churches continue to capitulate and compromise; even professing Christians have no problem with involvement with things that are clearly contrary to the will of God;…”
I could not agree more with their “facts”, but I have a different interpretation of them. I believe most members of this community do as well. Please forgive me for the following example, if you believe that Science Fiction Shows are evil. Last night I watched an old episode of Star Trek Voyager in which a crew member with advanced ability to access amazing amounts of data came up with 3 erroneous conspiracy theories – all based on the available facts – and caused near tragedy. Here are a couple of thoughts for us to consider along with the facts.
No matter our circumstances, Scripture teaches to live above our circumstances, and it assures us that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We fight From a position of Victory, not for a victory. Like Paul, we should have the perspective that “…to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21 NIV)
Perception is our own personal reality. In other words, we react to things based on how we think things ought to be, and we base our opinion of how things ought to be on both facts and prejudices in our experience – our brain’s filing cabinet. When dealing with issues of life, especially in matters of ministry, we would do well to remember that “…we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16) AND, as my dad used to say, we would do well to be sure that our mind is engaged before our mouth is set into motion.
Godly Patience is indeed one evidence of Holy Spirit fruit (Gal. 5:22). I must confess that it seems to be the first place that rottenness shows up is in my fruit. I pray for the grace to be more patient.
These three traits are critical to the unity of the Church and the Unity of our Community. In that Star Trek example I mentioned, disaster was averted by trust between crew members that was based on their history of telling each other the truth. That was the key to having the right perspective on the facts, a willingness to discard a false perception and to be patient with the one who had misinterpreted the “facts”.
I thank God for each one of you who is willing to serve in and represent TDNG with excellence by demonstrating these traits and, as a result, show our Candidates what an amazingly diverse group of men and women can do when our eyes are on Jesus and we serve Him first.
In Christ’s Lavish Love,