I recently found myself discouraged by a compilation of difficult situations at work and church. While texting David, I started typing something about how disappointed I was as I watched the behavior of older Christians. Before hitting “send,” I stopped dead in my tracks, and with the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I deleted the text and started thinking.
Watch. I was watching other people. My eyes were set on the wrong thing. The Christian is called to live life with his or her eyes fixed on Jesus. We live here with our gaze there. And what we see changes how we think about, feel, and respond to what goes on here.
If I live my life focusing on other people, I’m bound to be disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. And not to be too hard on others, the same things would result if I constantly gazed at myself. Fixing my eyes on anyone but Jesus is a recipe for disaster.
In the midst of difficulty, I lift my eyes from my circumstances to my Savior. And I fix them there. Gazing at Him, I am liberated to love others (and myself) as the works-in-progress we all are, by God’s grace.
And shifting my eyes to Jesus there, I also pray. I pray for thick skin and a tender heart – two essential qualities for a life of ministry here.