Which Side Do You Choose To Perceive?


“For he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost.” (Proverbs 23:7) The thoughts of a person directly affect that person, but those thoughts are often guided by his “point of view”. He may choose how to look at a certain matter, and the corresponding results may be entirely contradictory. For example:


At night, two people look out the same window. One sees the stars in the sky twinkling brightly. The other sees the muddy ground as a patch of darkness. Which way will you look, above or below?

“Do not be disappointed by the withered branch, spring is coming” Which side do you perceive, the gloomy, chilly winter or the regenerating, vibrant spring?

In a rather large, enclosed room, a single candle flickers weakly in the corner. Which side do you perceive, the oppressive, confining room or the weak light of the candle?

An attractive piece of embroidery has a chaotic, incoherent backside. Some only see the back, and do not believe that the reverse has a beautiful display. Which side do you perceive?

Below the rose in full bloom is a stem covered with thorns. Which side do you perceive? Do you offer joyful thanks for the beautiful rose or grumble because of the thorns?

Everyone has his virtues and weaknesses. Which side do you embrace? Do you accuse, belittle and reject one for his weaknesses, or do you admire and emulate another’s virtues?

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Which side do you perceive? Are you unable to espy the long view of the harvest because your eyes are misty with tears?

A small, black seed can produce beautiful flowers and fruit. Which side do you perceive? Do you just regard the tiny, uninspiring black seed and neglect to irrigate it, cultivate it, and await its growth?

While oppression closed in on him on the island of Patmos, John “turned around” (Revelations 1:12) and saw the vision of the glorious Lord, so that the whole perspective was altered. Which side do you perceive, the mining tunnels on Patmos or the glorious face of the Lord?

Trial and temptation are also two sides of the same matter, that can lead either to the growth of our lives or to sin by the lure of our personal vices. We can only beseech the God who bestows great blessings on all and do not rebuke people to give us the wisdom of discernment, so that we can clearly distinguish the right side.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul declared, “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.” Wasting away outwardly is an unchangeable fact. But to see all the troubles being suffered for the Lord achieving the eternal glory that will be received in the future, that will be enough to keep us from losing heart and worrying, so that the strength within us will be renewed day by day. The secret to gaining such a change is to be concerned for what is unseen, to perceive the work of God, and to believe in His word.

This then is our choice. Which side do we wish to perceive? What kind of life do we want to lead - be constantly ill-disposed, downcast and moody, or to look lightly upon the luster of the world for the joy and hope that is laid out before us? What sort of a person do we want to be? 


By: Esther Lau