Monday, 24 December 2012

Look In, Look Up, Look Out

Yesterday a friend of mine shared a fairly simple, yet profound concept. He suggested that when we get upset with a situation or a person we should first look in, then look up, and then look out.

 Look in:
For me this is the most difficult of the three steps.  It means that if I am frustrated, irritated, aggravated or any other form of “ated” that first I should examine my heart.  I should look inward to see why a particular situation or individual is bothering me.  The reason this step is difficult is because 99% of the time I already know the answer.  Someone or something has violated the sovereign rule of me, my kingdom, my desires, my expectations and/or my perceived needs.  You see it is all about me.  Everyone should live their lives in accordance with my values and play by my rules.

Look up:
Seek God's direction
Once I can acknowledge that the problem I am experiencing is not something that lies outside of me, my next move should be to humble myself before the Creator of the universe, repent, and ask Him to help me see my situation from His perspective.   Whether I need discernment, wisdom, or clarity of thought only God can change my heart and give me the much needed insight.

Look out:
Now I’m in a position to view my situation or other person with a Godly, loving filter.  I realize that in the vast scheme of life most troubling situations are inconsequential, most negative interactions are quickly forgotten – if not, they should be.

look out with a fresh perspective
Let’s connect the dots.  The next time your spouse does something that irritates you look at your heart. Your heart is the nerve center where mind, will and emotions reside. Why did what they say or do bother you so much?  Are you being overly sensitive?  Are you feeling unloved or disrespected?  Was this an intentional slight?   In reality is this a case of your self-centeredness taking over?

Look up.  Seek God’s wisdom.  Seek God’s perspective.  What might He be trying to teach you?  How might your situation be part of God’s development plan for your life?  How might He be using that negative interaction to teach you something about yourself, to help you identify something that He wants to change in you?

Look out.  Armed with a fresh perspective take another look at your situation, re-consider the negative interaction.  When we attempt to look at life through God’s eyes it looks much different.


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