Tag Archives: Perspective

Looking at Problems from the Right Perspective

Most of us are filled with many blessings in our lives. We have two legs we can use to walk. We have tongues that let us taste delicious food. We have jobs that allow us to put our talents to good use. We have a roof over our heads. We have family and friends. We have love. We have God.
Sometimes it is easy to lose track of all the goodness that we have in our lives. We begin to focus all our attention on small problems. The problems are infinitely small compared with the goodness we possess. Yet, our minds often insist on us spending all our energy and effort focusing on some little problem, giving it more attention than it deserves, making it bigger than it ought to be.
Of course, problems should not be left alone. They should be solved in the right way and at the right time, but we must always look at them from the right perspective. We must look at them as if they are only a tiny part of our lives and not our entire lives. The good and bad both must be considered when we look at ourselves. It is always going to be a temptation of the devil to neglect the good and focus only on the bad. When this temptation comes, we should pray to God to continue to let us see the good in our lives side-by-side with the problem. This will always give us the right perspective.
In addition, something to keep in mind is that God uses the bad events in our lives to teach us lessons and often to bring about some greater good through those misfortunes. When we keep God in the picture, no misfortune can make our lives feel hopeless or without meaning.
So far, everything that has been said about looking at the bad events in our lives from the right perspective has been good but a bit abstract. Let us look at a concrete example to bring this down to our level. Here is Saint Paul talking in his second letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11:22-33):
[22] Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.  
[23] Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one — I am talking like a madman — with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 
[24] Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 
[25] Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; 
[26] on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; 
[27] in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 
[28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. 
[29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 
[30]If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
[31] The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie. 
[32] At Damascus, the governor under King Ar’etas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 
[33] but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.
Saint Paul suffered far more than any of us have for the sake of Christ. He neither whined nor complained about these sufferings in his letter to the Corinthians but boasted of them. He was happy, not depressed, to share everything bad that had happened to him since he became a follower of Christ.
Does being a follower of Christ mean that we will have fewer sufferings than non-believers? No. It does mean, however, that we will see our sufferings from the right perspective, and we will be much happier because of that.