Published June 11, 2013

Shelia Shares....
"Perceptions"

My "Shelia Shares" for last week talked about seeing the dandelion as a splash of sunshine rather than as a weed. Several readers wrote to me, referring to dandelions as "God's smiley faces." I like that. Much of life depends on our perspectives.

In observing people, I am convinced the our perceptions make a big difference on how we view life and how we view ourselves. It isn't just seeing the good or the bad. It is in seeing the good and knowing it isn't we who have made it good. It is in seeing the bad and knowing it could be worse and that God is still in control.

Recently, a pastor gave a great example of perception. When he was a young pastor, a woman shook his hand at the end of church and said, "That was your best sermon yet." It really messed with his mind.

Now, if I were that pastor I would have thought it was great that she liked what I said and that it meant something to her.

However, he thought instead about how bad his former sermons must have been. He struggled for weeks worrying how he could top that particular sermon every week, knowing that one week he would disappoint the lady. What was meant as encouragement ended up troubling the pastor greatly. It was certainly a matter of perspective.

Have you allowed some negative – or something construed as negative – to overwhelm your mind? Did you engage in a pity party because you misinterpreted some remark or action? Have you quit before you even started knowing that you couldn't possibly succeed anyway?

Is it possible to have God's perspective? Is it possible to be sustained because we have a God who does not fail? Is it possible to take the circumstances life throws at you and pick up the pieces to make a patchwork quilt? How have you limited yourself by assuming the worst? What could have been done for God's work if you had believed His Word?

This week make a conscious effort to believe the promises in the Bible. They were put there for a purpose. When Jesus left this earth, He left us the job of telling people about Him. If we have a God who believes in us enough to leave the challenge of spreading the Gospel to us, why don't we believe in ourselves? Don't let your perceptions hinder what you can do.

Recently I heard someone put it this way: "When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when God doesn't solve your problems, He has faith in your abilities."

- Shelia

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