A rock-solid foundation for 2015 …
If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know I have a general disdain for platitudes, largely because they contain falsehoods that are broadly shared as truth. Well, I ran across another one yesterday, this time a quote from Wayne Dyer …
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
That statement is far more wrong than it is right. Just by changing the way you look at something doesn’t make what you’re looking at change. It means you’re changing how you think and what you think, even though what you’re looking at hasn’t changed.
For example, imagine that in your city, every time you pull up to a certain intersection there is a homeless man holding a sign asking for help. You might be the type of person who sits in his car with seething anger toward the man, thinking, “He just needs to get a job, you know God helps those who help themselves!” (there’s another platitude that’s biblically inaccurate!).
Now imagine you read a newspaper story about that same homeless man, detailing that he’s a Army veteran who served with distinction and he’s homeless because his house burned down, his family is dysfunctional to the point they don’t care about his situation, and he’s received a little food and offers of prayer from friends, but he’s largely been left to fend for himself. Having learned some truth about the man holding the sign at the intersection, would your opinion of him change? Or would you still sit in your car with a seething judgment against him?
By changing the way you look at this man — by applying truth — who you were looking at didn’t change, you changed by thinking differently.
One of the most effective ways you can build a better foundation for your life in the New Year is committing to live through 2015 by applying truth to your life, in your relationships, and through all your considerations, decisions, and circumstances.
Truth eliminates the problem of “perspectives” or faulty thinking by revealing to us the reality of people and things. Truth is the one solid foundation on which we can build our lives that will not fail us regarding people or situations. And truth is discovered in the living Word (Jesus Christ) and the written Word of God …
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.
“Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth,” John 17:17.
Jesus directly taught that applying the truth of His teaching to our lives will be the means of having a foundation for living that will not fail us …
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash,” Matthew 7:24-27.
Cleveland Amory tells the story about Judge John Lowell of Boston. One morning the judge was at breakfast, his face hidden behind the morning newspaper. A frightened maid tiptoed into the room and whispered something into Mrs. Lowell’s ear. The lady paled slightly, then squared her shoulders resolutely and said, “John, the cook has burned the oatmeal, and there is no more in the house. I am afraid that this morning, for the first time in 17 years, you will have to go without your oatmeal.”
The judge, without putting down his newspaper, answered, “It’s all right, my dear. Frankly, I never cared much for it anyhow.”
For almost two decades, Mrs. Lowell lived with the false assumption that her husband loved having oatmeal for breakfast. What a refreshing change for Judge Lowell that his wife discovered the truth! Making the truth of Christ the foundation for your life throughout the coming New Year just might be the refreshing change you’ve needed in your life. Try it!