What’s important? What’s not?
OCEANSIDE, CALIF. — Jesus stared into the face of crises and responded each time with courage and conviction. His 12 disciples, meanwhile, often succumbed to fear, anger and irritation when things didn’t go their way. What was the difference?
Jesus had an eternal perspective and always acted with complete faith in His Heavenly Father. He knew crises were temporal and saw them as hidden opportunities. He knew deliverance and purpose would accompany each difficulty. Conversely, the disciples viewed crises as obstacles and threats.
The Savior lived each day with the cross in view. Thus He had a different perspective from His disciples of what was — and what was not — important.
Today we have to fight the tendency to elevate inconsequential matters to a greater level of importance. Before getting worked up or taking out our emotions on someone, we need to learn to pause and ask, “Is this really that important in view of eternity?”
Is the length of a young man’s hair or the size of a girl’s hoop earring, for example, really important enough to point a finger? Is the number of hymns and choruses sung on Sunday morning important enough to cause discord in the church? Is a disagreement over government politics worth losing a friend?
The enemy wants us to major in the minors, to exhaust our energy on the trivial rather than on building the kingdom of God. He wants us to see the world from his distorted perspective, rather than from heaven’s point of view.
May we learn to approach conflict and difficulty like Jesus, keeping 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 in mind: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
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