It amazes me how different people can look at the same situation and come away with completely different perspectives.
It’s like the old fable about a group of blind men who encountered an elephant and then tried to describe the beast. Each man, having felt a different part of the elephant’s body, had a personal and unique perception of what the animal was like.
Such was the case in Numbers 13. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to scope out the people and geography. Twelve men saw the same things—a beautiful land flowing with milk and honey, bountiful harvests of fruit, and the people who lived there. Of the 12 spies, 10 cowered in fear. Only two displayed courage.
Why was that? Here’s my hunch: the majority focused on the challenges they’d face if they tried to conquer the land. Fear bulldozed them.
In contrast, the minority focused on God’s promise to give them the land. In their minds, worrisome circumstances were His problem, not theirs, to deal with. Courage controlled their response.
See what I mean about different people looking at the same situation and having different perspectives? Here are some modern-day examples:
- A couple wants to adopt a child from overseas. The financial cost seems astronomical for their income. They’re willing to trust God to provide for their needs so they can provide a loving home for an orphaned toddler. But then a family member says, “What are you thinking? That’s ‘way too expensive. You can’t afford that!”
- A mother prays and believes God to bring her wayward daughter home. Her husband lacks her confidence. “Don’t be a fool,” he says. “She’ll never return. Move on with your life.”
- A man is unemployed for several months. Feelings of failure sink him into depression. His wife, however, refuses to give up. “C’mon, Honey,” she says. “God knows what He’s doing. Let’s thank Him in advance for what He’s going to do.”
In each case, someone possesses courage while another’s possessed by fear. Their focus determines their perspective and ultimately their response.
What circumstances are you facing today? What’s your perspective of the situation—are you courageous or fearful?
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