The Lens You Choose

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I want to be an optometrist.

Not a real one. I’m speaking metaphorically. As a coach/consultant, I want to help people with their vision. I want to help churches and leaders see things in a new way.

I want to help people choose the right lens. Because here’s what I’ve seen, time and time again:

The lens you choose determines your view.

I live in the mountains of western North Carolina, and I’m surrounded by beautiful scenery. But consider this: If I stand at an overlook and look at one of those scenes through the lenses of my own near-sighted eyes, my view is going to be blurry.

If I look through the lenses of a pair of fake glasses from the costume shop—lenses that have no power—it’s still going to be blurry.

If I look through the lenses of a pair of eclipse glasses (remember those from two summers ago?), the view is going to be dark—very dark.

But if I look at the scene through the lenses of my up-to-date, current prescription glasses, the view is going to be beautiful!

You see, the lens you choose determines your view.  You can’t control all the “scenes” in your life, but you can choose the lens you use to look at them.

You can choose a lens that has no power to change how you see things.

You can choose a lens that makes everything look dark.

Or you can choose the right lens—the one that gives you the power to see things the right way.

For Christ followers, that right lens is The Gospel –the Good News about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was sitting in prison, essentially on death row, possibly in a cold, stinky cell with little to no food.

How did he look at his situation? Through the lens of the Gospel:

12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives…

18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

(Philippians 1:12-15, 18 New Living Translation)

You see that? Paul didn’t look at his situation through the lens of his own safety…or the lens of his own comfort…or the lens of whether he was going to live or die. He looked at it through the lens of the Gospel. And he saw God at work.

What if you and I could look at our lives through the lens of the Gospel and see God at work—even in the tough situations—maybe especially in the tough situations?

What if you and I could believe that the Gospel has power to change what we see? And what if by looking through that lens we could find the hope we need to keep going? And the strength we need to do something?

What if you and I decided every day to put on the right pair of glasses?

Not the eclipse glasses of negativity, that make everything look dark.

Not the costume shop glasses of faith-less-ness, that have no power to change what we see.

But the powerful, vision-correcting glasses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

That’s a choice you can make. And one of my dreams for this ministry is to help more and more people make that choice.

Because the lens you choose determines your view.