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Wednesday Devotional: Look Up Instead of Down

Romans 12: 2a

I had been so focused on weeds that had challenged the grass in our yard. When I went outside, all I could see were weeds. But I got a jolt when my wife Sara commented, "Every time I drive past our house, I just marvel at our beautiful crepe myrtles!"

I couldn't see the trees for the weeds.

Recently, I met a new friend who shared a story in a similar vein. At one point in his career, he had taken a job as an inspector within his company. His job was to find things wrong. The problem was, he was carrying this habit home. His wife complained that all he did anymore was nag about things being wrong. Then he realized, as he told me, "You've heard it said, you are what you eat. But you really are what you think!"

It is so easy to focus on what's wrong instead of what's right. Something in our survival instinct seeks out dangerous or unusual patterns. Our news cycles are based on this habit. Our conversations become filled with what's wrong with the world.

We need to change our perspective. The Apostle Paul urged us to continually renew and refresh our point of view, stating in Romans 12: 2a:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I don't believe Paul meant a one-time renewal. He well knew that the pattern of this world would always be imposing and impressing itself on our minds, so we are in regular need of mind refreshment.

In my case, the problem is that I was looking down, not up. Always on the hunt for weeds, the only way I recognized my lovely crepe myrtles was when they dropped their blossoms on the yard. A wind storm recently carpeted the lawn with tiny purplish-red flowers, causing me to remember the good things about my landscape instead of focusing on its faults.

God has given us so many beautiful things in this world. Despite the news reports focused on the bad that humans do, there is so much commendable work also being done. Of course, the absolute best is God's love for us and His gift of salvation through Jesus.

Join me in refreshing our minds together and tilting our perspectives. Let's look up, not down.

Take a moment to study the picture of one of our crepe myrtles. Then add your comment below, indicating what you've been missing by having the wrong perspective. I've confessed; let's hear from you! And please share this message with people who need to hear it.

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