Putting Perspective Into Perspective

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A few days ago, I sat in the kitchen at my boyfriend’s parents’ house complaining that I had recently found out that a place I frequent is somewhat *infested* with roaches…

You can only imagine how grossed out and appalled I was at this. So there I sat, going on and on about how disgusting and how I was never going back and blah, blah, blah.

I didn’t think anything about my complaining, and I probably complained to a few more people about the same issue between then and when what happened next happened.

{Also, before I go on, I should inform you that I live in a school dorm. Not the place with roaches I’m referring to, but also not exactly the cleanest, nicest, place either.}

So just yesterday, I was walking into the dorm, and I saw an advertisement poster for a mission trip or prayer time or something like that. The poster showed a man in a foreign, third-world, country.

He was dirty, with dry skin, and very skinny.

 

The background of the picture showed some small huts and dry, dusty ground.

Tørke i Kenya, Afrikas horn.

This is not the exact picture that I saw, but it very much depicts the same thing. 

I immediately became so convicted.

I could’t help but think, this man is a person just like I am. He lives on this same planet as you and I. And yet, how different is his life from mine?

Here I had been…

     > Complaining about the roaches when he probably lives in a hut with no protection from bugs, even bugs that carry deadly diseases. 

     > Complaining about people’s loose hairs left in the shower drain when the girls in his village probably have never and will never see a bottle of shampoo or conditioner in their life.

     > Complaining about the water pressure when, in all liklihood, he has never seen running water, let alone, purified water. 

     > Complaining about the strange smell coming from the laundry room when his wife more than likely washes what little clothes they have in the muddy river. 

…and there was this man. 

It honestly brings me to tears to even write these things. I should be, and am, so ashamed.

How dare I complain about the condition of things that would be seen as luxuries to many people across the world? 

How dare I live with an attitude of entitlement and feel as if I deserve better? 

I couldn’t help but realize the lesson that this taught me in two aspects of life: perspective and contentment. 

So often, we think we know how to put things in perspective. But we naturally put them in a negative perspective. We think about how much better things could be than they are, instead of realizing how incredibly BLESSED we are because of the fact that things could be MUCH worse than they are. 

However, as Christ-followers, we are called to be “content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12). We are called to be content in a way that causes us to be thankful for whatever situation we are in, knowing that “…for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)

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So what is it in your life? Those little things that bug you, that drive you crazy, that get under your skin… that really, when put into perspective, should not be reason at all for discontentment. It can be things as simple as:

…your latte taking too long to be done at Starbucks

…the slow printer at work 

…the hotel room not having soft enough sheets

…the grocery store discontinuing your favorite brand of cheese

And the list goes on and on. These things all seem so trivial, but they are thoughts that I guarantee every single one of us can relate to in some way.

And they all reak of selfish entitlement. 

My prayer, moving forward in my life, is that I would be able to truly put things into perspective. And that, in doing so, my heart would break over my own discontentment and over the need of others.

So, as I sit in my dorm room writing this, I realize as never before how immensely blessed I am. Even though I don’t love this dorm and even though I still hate roaches… what I have is a blessing that some would never even dream of.

And for that reason, I can truly say that I am content.

Can you?

Read on. 

~ CB

 

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11 thoughts on “Putting Perspective Into Perspective

  1. Well, even though I do my share of complaining when I shouldn’t, what’s my saying always been???….. “It could always be worse.” 🙂 I love this and love that the Lord is showing you things as you go about every day life. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chloe Beth, I love the fact that God speaks to us and shows us truth. I know you are busy with studies; but if you find some time, read “Forgotten God”, by Francis Chan. He also wrote “Crazy Love”. Love you!

    Like

  3. When I was little my mother and father took us on a trip down to a few of the poorest parts of North and South Carolina, USA. Our car was packed with all types of clothing, can goods, and a few DIY tools, which we would be giving away to families in need along our route.

    Upon arrival, my mother told me that many of the young women in these parts had never owned a bra. At first, I expressed my utter disdain & disbelief, but as I discreetly handled out bags of varies pieces of undergarments, the look on their faces told me she had spoken the truth.

    The most mind-blowing thing I experienced however, was seeing the houses these people lived in. The windows were made of thin plastic; dry cleaner bag thin. If I had been drunk with entitlement prior to this, I sobered up fast!

    Liked by 1 person

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