No matter who we are, our outlook on life colors our perception of the objective facts. We will either use the Bible as our “lens” to view reality or we will use something else.
If you remember the eclipse from a few years ago, you probably remember that you had to have a filter (or special sunglasses) to look at the eclipse. You couldn’t see the moon slowly moving in front of the sun without them; it was too bright to look at until the moon completely eclipsed the sun. Is there any other thing you can think of where you have to have special equipment to see it? Or something that you can’t see without help?
Do you view the world the same way now as you did when you are half the age you are now? Or does everything look different to you, at least a little? You probably don’t see politics or money the same way, right? And it wasn’t that the things out there in the world changed…it’s that you have more experience and realize that things were not quite what you originally thought. The change didn’t happen out there but in your own mind. The way we sort through information and the way we think always colors our perception of the facts, whether for good or for bad.
Primary Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 11:3, Genesis 3:1-6, Matthew 6:22-23
- In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Paul warns the church at Corinth that he’s worried that the believers at Corinth might get tricked in the same way that Eve was tricked in the garden. So exactly how was Eve tricked into eating the forbidden fruit? (Genesis 3:1-6.)
- How was Eve looking at the world in that same passage? Pay special attention to the distracting question that Satan asks Eve in Genesis 3:1. Is your mind primarily on pleasure or comfort, like Eve’s was? Eve had no forewarning about Satan’s activity, but we do. How different do you think things would have been if Eve had had a warning about him, specifically?
- In Matthew 6:22-23, Jesus makes the point that the way you look at the world colors your perception of the world. If you have a cynical, dark outlook, then it’s going to be pretty bleak on the inside of your mind. On the other hand, if you are aware that this world is a brief, temporary, broken creation from which God has offered to save you, you should be filled with hope and joy. So the question is, when you interact with the world, what are you using as your “lens”? For instance, are you being slowly nudged to disrespect your family members by the way you see people on TV shows interact? Are you seeing violence displayed as an option to resolve conflict? Do you believe the things you see can influence you?
- When you see people acting in very unloving ways, what might it mean to look through the Bible as a “lens” to color your perception of the people involved?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Genesis 3:1-6 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.