Maintaining proper perspective regarding anything in life is so important. Nowhere is it more important than in our relationships with each other.
First, keep the big picture in mind, not just the bad picture, or the picture we want to see. We see what we want to see. What we see we perceive as truth. But is what we see our perspective, or the situation as it really is? Do we see the bad picture or the big picture? We may feel angry or hurt when a mate fails to do something really important. But what is that in the big scheme of things? In our relationship with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, do we focus on the big picture or the bad picture? Is that person really that bad? Is that worship time really that disastrous? What would we trade for our mate? What would we trade for our relationships with each other as brethren in Christ? What would we trade for that opportunity to collectively assemble for worship together? Nothing is more important.
Second, do we make too many circumstances a life-or-death issue? Dean Smith, the former head basketball coach at North Carolina, observed, “If you make every game a life-and-death proposition… you’ll be dead a lot.” If we make everything an issue worth fighting about, we will be fighting a lot. We will be fighting a lot of people, too. On the day of my death is that situation really going to matter that much? Is that what we will look back at and regret? I doubt any situation is that weighty. When we stand before the throne of God are we going to look back and focus on that situation that upset us so much on earth? No, the only thing that will matter is being in His presence. If those situations will not matter the day of our death or the day we are before the throne of God, then why make them so big today? Maybe everything is not the way we want it, but does it really matter?
Third, love still matters, even in difficult times. At some point we all face difficult situations in close relationships. Love does not mean we must like everything that happened in a relationship. But it does mean we continue to value that person, pray for them, do them good, and speak well of them. How many harsh words, Facebook posts, or Instagram’s would be said or sent if we just remembered love for each other will not allow us to speak in a malicious manner or bear false witness of one another? We get to choose our response. We get to choose how we love one another. We can choose to love as Christ commands or be filled with ill will as Satan wants. It is our choice. Love is easy in easy times. Love is challenged in difficult times. It is easy to be like Christ when everything is going my way. It is challenging to be like Him when we do not get our way.
We spend a lot of time trying to get each other to focus on being transformed into His image. That is until something happens we do not like; then it goes out the window. Then we focus on the bad picture. Everything becomes a life-and-death issue. Love is forgotten. Becoming transformed into His image happens even in those times. In fact, it is in those times when transformation into His image is intensified. Transformed into His image or conformed to the image of Satan, we choose.