My sunglasses broke this week. I had them for 18 months, and it was the longest relationship I’ve ever had with a pair of sunglasses. I’ve only ever had 1 nice pair of sunglasses in my life, and they were a gift. I had them for 6 months and now they are somewhere on the bottom of Lake Burton in North Georgia. I have no explanation for why this happens. I either break them or lose them. I’m sure I will buy another cheap pair this weekend.
The nice pair of glasses I had were amazing. The lenses brought great clarity in all types of weather. Sunny days, rainy days, or cloudy days, those things made everything look beautiful.
Have you ever considered that we process everything in our lives through lenses? We have developed and applied our own lenses through which we see the world. For people of faith, this is often referred to as a worldview. And hopefully most followers of Jesus have applied a biblical worldview to their lives. This allows us to see life through the lenses of the Scriptures.
So much of what I observe right now is divisive. People seem tense and are quick to engage in unhealthy debate. The world seems crazy and the pulse and temperature of our culture has become combative. We need to look through better lenses.
For followers of Jesus, the gospel is the lens by which we see the world. The practice of this is choosing to process our world through the lens of the gospel. This is the discipline of applying the gospel to every issue that we face, and to the issues that dominate the culture.
The tension is that our lives have become so consumed with cultural ideologies that we are processing our world through cheap lenses. We have taken off our gospel glasses and replaced them with a worldly imitation.
This tension is real in my life. I have to fight each day to keep the lenses of the gospel securely affixed to my face. I have been known to replace them with the lenses of my preferences, the lenses of my sinfulness, and even the lenses of my personal agendas. When this happens, I struggle to see things in a way that honors God. But thanks be to God in these moments that the Holy Spirit convicts and corrects my heart.
The kindness and the grace of God allows us to choose how we will see the world in front of us. We can choose a cheap imitation and view life through lenses that will bring division and distraction, or we can choose to put on the lenses of the gospel. We can choose to apply the gospel to everything. I don’t always get this right, in fact I fall very short. I often feel like Paul in 1 Timothy 1: 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
My hope is that I can surrender my life daily to Jesus so that His perfect patience may be displayed in my life. And by His grace, may I choose to see life through the lenses of the gospel. Because when I do, everything is beautiful.