I was born with a special condition shared by many men (like 1 out of 100). It is technically called green-red dichromatic vision, or color blindness.
My parents were somewhat familiar with the condition because of my mom’s brothers. However, very early in my preschool days, I would bring home from church my own crayon landscape pictures that celebrated God’s creation. I was so proud of my artistic abilities and mom would affirm my accomplishments by displaying them in the kitchen. Only problem is, my grasses would be red instead of green and my oceans could be violet as often as they were colored blue.
Later I learned to mask most of my condition by reading the labels on the crayons. It helps to read the labels but I did think it strange that so many colors existed beyond my primary color capabilities.
In honor of my latest birthday (a major landmark accomplished by the grace of God), my three sons did some research and found a new patented approach to assist color blind people. They presented to me my very own EnChroma glasses, which have given me a new perspective on the world of color.
When I put the glasses on, I began to describe to Sharon the different shades of springtime green. I saw for the first time the differences between green and browns, blues and purples, orange versus yellow, and Sharon began to weep because it was such a new perspective for me (I love this wife of mine).
The new challenge is that along with my younger grandkids, I’m learning my colors. Now I know most of the adult world already has that down, but it is a new perspective for me.
Perspective is a huge opportunity for every person.
Learning about a godly perspective of life and decision-making is part of the journey of faith that every believer must experience. What does God say about this behavior or a particular attitude? What has God already said through His Word about an experience or decision I am facing? How would the Holy Spirit within me lead me to respond to a person who has wounded me with their words?
Is it possible for me, a sinner transformed by God’s grace, to gain God’s perspective about all things pertaining to life? Yes! Absolutely!
Consider the following passage:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV).
This passage is not an empowerment for self-actualization. It is not a gospel “selfie” to post on our latest page so we can say, “Look what’s happening now to me.” How shallow to think such a low thought of our Lord’s work in and through a believer’s life.
We must think much higher and/or deeper. Here is one aspect of this great passage: No authentic believer is exempted from the journey of faith where the Lord is at work in us to change our perspective from a life captivated by the allure of worldliness to a heart that is passionate for what is important to Him.
From His perspective (not my perspective about what I think is His perspective), what is so important to God? Take a look at the 2 Peter passage again. See the phrase “… you may become partakers of the divine nature …” The Lord’s perspective on life is that through the precious promises of the Word of God, a believer “partakes” or “gains” of the divine perspective.
This doesn’t mean we understand everything there is to know about life and its valleys and opportunities. But it does mean that character has a higher value than a high five from our peers; that faithfulness means more than what satisfies my flesh; that holy devotion to my relationship to Him is foundational to a purposeful life.
This time of year is a grand opportunity to step back and reflect on God’s goodness. Take the circumstances of life that are squeezing you on every side and by faith take a look at the challenges through a new set of lenses. Ask, from a “what does God desire to do in and through me” perspective, “Lord, is there something I am not seeing about what I am struggling with” or “Lord, do You have something new for me to learn through Your Word about my choices, about my attitudes toward those who are closest to me, or about the sphere of influence where You have planted me for the purpose of revealing Your glory.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – John Yeats is executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention and recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention.)