I wear glasses because I have something called an astigmatism. This just means that the shape of my eye causes me to not see things with clarity. But when I first needed glasses, I refused to wear them for a long time. I thought I could see “good enough.”
Right before college I decided I would embrace the idea of actually being able to see things better and got contacts. Now, if for some reason I have to go without glasses or contacts, it is REALLY hard for me to see. Everything is blurry, and nothing really comes into focus. Glasses bring clarity to my view.
Changing the way we see makes a big difference in how we approach things in life. Perspective can change so much. And that is what Jesus does for us here; his teachings show a different perspective. They bring clarity and correction to the way that we approach the world, just as glasses do to our vision.
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
Justice & fairness is something that is a part of me to my core. But in these verses Jesus comes and wrecks my desire for control of what is fair and just. He wants me to totally change my perspective to something against my natural tendencies.
Then he tells me why, and my heart softens a little. He is saying that by changing MY thinking, changing MY heart, MY perspective, that then my actions are able to reflect not what is important to me (justice & fairness), but Him. Then he gives us this sweet reminder that we are not the ones who determine justice & fairness. That he is the King of ALL people and that he will do the determining of justice for people, and that my personal agenda is really out of place.
Lent is a season of giving up something tangible, and in the absence of that, the hope is that we realize our brokenness and need for a Savior. It is about replacing a perspective we currently hold and replacing it with the truth of God. And this week we are focusing on prayer and fasting. So, my challenge for us is in this gap we have from whatever we are fasting from, take some time in prayer and reflection to really examine where your perspective on something might need to change to match what God teaches us in his word.
Sarah Lancaster is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years she has served on our Leadership Team and oversees the worship ministry as a member on our staff.