A Good Set of Lenses

by Thomas Mollahon

One of the things that fascinated my children when they were much younger was my eyeglasses. They would grab my metal frames, sometimes nearly taking off one of my ears with them, and then put them onto their own faces to try them on for size. “What’s the deal with these, Dad?” they seemed to be asking.

They would clumsily slide them onto their faces, poking themselves in the eye as often as not., While trying to fit the earpieces over their ears, they wound up getting them tangled in their hair. Then, when they finally succeeded (with a little help from their father), they would take a look at the world around them through my lenses. Because my eyeglasses were prescription lenses designed for my particular eye problem—nearsightedness with astigmatism—they naturally could not see very well through my glasses.

Yet, they thought it was fun to look at the odd things they could see with them. The lenses would bend the light rays passing through in such a way that, to my children’s eyes, the people and things around them were distorted into strange and bewildering shapes.

Of course, it only took a little while of looking through my glasses to make them laugh. I imagine that if they had continued to look through them for too long, however, their giddiness would turn into nausea and leave them feeling like they had gone a few times too many on an amusement park ride. I am glad to say that we never came to that unhappy conclusion, at least not with my glasses.

I find that a lot of people are a lot like my kids were with my lenses. Not that people are lining up to try on my glasses (that would be awkward), but folks like to try on different perspectives. In some ways that’s not a bad thing. It’s great to try to look at things from the point of view of another person, in order that we might appreciate their unique insights, or obtain an understanding of them that cultivates compassion within us. On the other hand, it can be a dreadful thing for us to take upon ourselves a perspective which entices us to live a life which isn’t prescribed for us by the One who created us!

Before a person comes to Christ, he or she has such an acute spiritual nearsightedness that they are effectively rendered blind. Such a person cannot genuinely see life, neither the temporal world of the here and now, nor the eternal one that awaits him after this physical life is over. But when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, blindness begins to melt away and a new set of glasses are prescribed for that child of God!

In other words, as Christians, we are given true sight, which is a perspective that is not bound to the mere circumstantial evidence of what our physical eyes perceive, nor the erroneous conclusions our mortal minds reach. We are permitted through His Word to see reality as it truly is, which is neither a self-gratifying denial of the evils of the world, nor the gloom and despair of hopelessness.

With this new set of glasses, we can see through the eyes of faith the hand of God moving in and through our lives! Spiritually speaking, as we permit the Holy Spirit of God to open our minds, our eyesight gets better and better, as we become more and more accustomed to using the prescription lenses of the Bible.

How strange then, if we try to slip them off and replace them with the old glasses we once wore, or those that someone else wears who hasn’t yet been healed of their spiritual blindness! An occasion which finds us trying out or trusting a perspective that is alien to the promises of God may give us a momentary feeling of giddiness but ultimately will make us spiritually sick!

What about you? What glasses are on your face right now? By whose perspective are you living life? Is it a perspective being influenced by the common assumptions of society? Is it a philosophy that is built upon human wisdom? Does it puff up your ego? Does it deny your God-given worth? Is it something others share but which stands in stark contrast to the Word of God? Is it something you’ve put together from your limited experiences which you’ve decided just feels right?

Be careful! Wearing the wrong lenses can damage your vision. The lenses through which you view life will dramatically affect the way you spend your life! Not only does your eternal life depend on it, but also the fruitfulness of your life that may lead others to a future forever with God.

Get into God’s Word! Prayerfully turn your heart and mind over to His inspiration as He speaks to you through the Bible! Let Him make changing your mind an ongoing process—not that you flip back and forth from one conclusion to another—but that you allow Him to lead you further into His life-changing truth. By doing so, even those things you think you know will become new as He applies His principles into new areas of your mind, heart and actions! “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).

Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 16 years and is the author of The Fairy Tale Parables. He is the pastor of Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at pastorthom@pathwaygallipolis.com.

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