A lens not made for me

“Janie, can you bring me my glasses? They’re downstairs on my desk.” In that simple request was a complicated lesson. My dad was a minister and spent hours out of every day studying scriptures and reading commentaries to prepare him to share the gospel in teaching and in living. He also shared his skill as a carpenter and mechanic for people in need. Daddy’s glasses were not single strength lenses for a linear focused guy, they were trifocals necessary to accommodate the vision stages of close-up study, distance ahead, and a hammer and wrench length away.  When daddy sent me to fetch his spectacles, I went down the stairs wearing my own lenses, but ascended the stairs wearing his.  Thump, stumble, thud, rumble, rumble, thud, thud, ouch, ouch, bruised arm, bruised legs, and battered ego.  The steps on ascent wearing trifocals were fragmented and nothing like they were when wearing lenses fit for me.

The memory of that incident replays often, reminding me that things aren’t always as they seem, there are countless perspectives on the same problem, and the source of a situation is the closest element to leveled truth.  Wearing multi-vision trifocals not made for me, caused faltering and stumbling on steps that seemed broken and lopsided, even though they were level and symmetrical. This same lesson can be applied to what we hear, but don’t experience; what we read, but don’t verify; what we believe without knowledge. Do you see the illustration? This memory returned to me this morning when praying for God to protect my mind from distraction and not get pulled off track into destruction.  Psalm 25:5 “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” The enemy of my soul wants nothing more than to devour every truth and confuse my thoughts.

When thoughts are altered, so are the acts that follow. How often do we crave truth? Proverbs 23:23 says “Acquire truth and do not sell it—wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.” I might have it all wrong, but doesn’t this mean that truth is the embodiment of wisdom, discipline, and understanding?  In Isaiah 59:14, there’s an interesting parallel to this “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.” At this time people were rebelling and turning away from God. They had no conscience for truth. When we blindly believe hearsay, when we don’t investigate the facts at the source, any hope for honesty is gone and truth is nowhere to be found (vs 15).

When I put on those lenses not made for me, what I believed was altered truth. The only remedy was removing the offense, putting that aside in favor of my own glasses whose lenses let me see clearly the way things were. The source, my own glasses, produced the truth. To have the right perspective on issues, we need to look at them through the lens of God’s word. There is honor in seeking the truth, not falling prey to deception. The Message translation of Proverbs 16:13 says it well “Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.” Don’t take my word for it though. Go to the source – the word of God and you’ll have truth, satisfaction, and honor. Psalm 91:14-16 ”The Lord says, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him when he is in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him honor. I will satisfy him with long life, and will let him see my salvation.”

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