Temporal or Eternal? Worldly or Heavenly?

eyes above

Perspective is something that I struggle with constantly. I am well aware that, as a follower of Christ, my eyes are supposed to be fixated on heavenly things and not worldly things (Colossians 3:2). I know that God’s desire for my life is to lay it down for the sake of the gospel, not preserve it for my own comfort and pleasure. I have read 1 John 2:15 which says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” I totally understand this scripture and agree with it, but I would be totally lying if I said that I always live it out. In fact, more often than not, I make decisions from the perspective of how they are going to affect my worldly circumstances, not from the perspective of how they will impact eternity.

I want to be transparent and use and example of something I am currently facing in my own life. I am in the process of navigating through a difficult situation with a coworker. This person does not think too highly of my work, and does not hesitate to share that opinion with others. If my heart was set on heavenly things, I would be able to see that this person is not my enemy. I would be able to see that God loves this person the same as me, and that there is probably validity in this person’s perspective. Most importantly, I would be able to see that any hurt or pain being caused by this individual is most likely the result of pain that has been personally experienced by this person. I would be able to look past any negative affects that this person could have on my reputation, my income, or even my employment status, because none of those things are even worth comparing to the eternal impact that could result from me loving her despite them.

Yet, here I sit getting frustrated and angry as I write about the situation. Outwardly, I will probably not lash out , or spread rumors about this person’s methods and character. However, inwardly, that is exactly what I want to do. Those are the sort of tactics that my mind wants to instinctively utilize. Why? The answer to that is simple. It’s because this person’s actions are currently getting in the way of my worldly goals and comforts. It’s because my selfish, sinful nature is far more concerned about the current worldly repercussions than future heavenly riches that I cannot presently see or touch.

Please believe me when I say that I don’t enjoy sharing this about myself. I don’t enjoy airing the dirty laundry of my soul, but the truth is that there are people reading this today who are wrestling through similar circumstances. There are people reading this who are all too aware of their own battle with perspective and selfishness. I share this so that you might be encouraged in that struggle. The enemy wants to make you feel like you are the only one. He wants to make you feel isolated and defeated. However, that is the complete opposite of the truth. The truth is that EVERY human being struggles with this. We are all naturally selfish and sinful, and we all tend to default towards the worldly perspective over the heavenly one. Thank God for Jesus Christ, because without Him, none of us would have any hope of overcoming that selfishness.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” As God continues to break down my own selfishness, I want to lift this up as a prayer for myself and everyone reading this. Lord, help us not just to see the truths of heaven and eternity, but allow those truths to be lens by which we see everything else. Take our worldly perspective and exchange it for your heavenly perspective.

Written by Brian Maisch

I have a heart for setting people free from spiritual bondage and world oppression. I believe that the radical love of God manifested through his people can transform the world, and I believe that journey begins with us on our knees in a place of humble submission to God’s will.

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