Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Should We Be Impressed, Yet?

Matthew Cook just recently wrote a post titled “Whose Eyes Do You See Through”.  It’s worth reading.  In it, he talked about our perceptions.  The natural vs. the spiritual.  And that got some things rattling around that enclosed space between my earlobes.

This past week, I was up past my bedtime a few times to catch some of the performances of Justin Timberlake on the Jimmy Fallon show.  I liked the song he and Jay-Z did on the Grammy awards show, I had never really heard Justin before that, and I wanted a better overall feel for what he does.  It turns out that he does have talent.  And his performances got me thinking about perspective.

If you’re like me, you get impressions of people from their public persona.  It doesn’t matter whether an artist is performing Christian or secular music, there are times when you realize that a concert or broadcast is all about performing to draw the attention to the performer.  Miles Davis was known to turn away from the audience in clubs and concerts – something that some (including me) took as being insensitive to the audience, when, in fact, he was eliminating distraction so he could focus on the music to give the best performance possible.  When you watch Justin Timberlake, the sense you get from the movement and the facial expressions isn’t “Look at me.”, but more “Hey, I’m having a great time up here.  Are you getting as much fun out of this as I am?”.  Which could be as much a mistaken impression as I had with Miles, but I don’t think so.

Perspective.  The world tends to put successful entertainers and successes in business on a pedestal.  If you’ve made lots of money, people know who you are, and you’ve acquired some of the things most people want but don’t get, you get recognized as having “made it”.  And there’s not much thought to there being other ways to look at things.  “It’s all about me.”  Self centeredness runs rampant.

Perspective.  I’ve spent the last 35 years attached to a highly missionary oriented ministry.  There’s a lot of short term missions, as well as those who spend years on the mission field.  It doesn’t much matter if the mission trip is two weeks or two years, the fact that someone went could make them a “rock star”.  International students coming to “home base” for Bible college may get extra attention.  And that sounds suspiciously like the world until we examine the underlying attitude.

Have you ever wanted to go to some exotic missions location?  Have you been stirred up by a rousing sermon?  And you’re ready to go out sharing the Gospel?  Well, that’s my daily atmosphere.  I’m surrounded by those who want to go on the mission field, even if that field is right here, at home.  And I’m surrounded by those who have gone.  So, when people can’t go because of finances or family obligations or other things, the next best thing is feeding off the experiences of returning missionaries or getting to know a part of the foreign field from an international student here for Bible college.  No need to ignore responsibilities or our own personal call from God.  A little vicarious spiritual living can be just the thing to revitalize our experience of the call God has on each of our lives.

Look at the difference in perspective.  The world is focused on “me”.  The spiritual realm is focused on Him.  Even God’s enemies are focused on Him and how they think they can beat Him.  There’s power being on His side.

Romans 14:19 (KJV)  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

1 Timothy 1:4 (KJV)  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

We can have a “me” attitude or we can be built up by the things of God.

Oh.  That post by Matthew Cook?  Well, “Whose Eyes Do You See Through” can be found right here:

Which perspective are you feeding, today?

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