It is of utmost importance that we seek to live our lives from the proper perspective. Common sense tells us this every day, such as going to work. Many people dislike their jobs but plow through the days and weeks knowing that the paycheck makes it all worth it (mostly, anyway), because it provides basic needs. If we reacted to each moment, it would produce chaos and ultimately dysfunction. In keeping with this analogy, think of it this way: many people get paid once or twice per month. Without that perspective, we would be going to work expecting to get paid each day only to go home with nothing but an empty lunch sack. "Why am I working this job if it doesn't pay me for my work?" we might ask ourselves. And if we acted on that, we might quit and find another job.
Or consider relationships. If my relationship isn't giving me the happiness and satisfaction I desire now, then I might as well get out and find another one that does, right? Sounds familiar...
The problem with this perspective is that it never provides accurate direction for our lives because it's based on such a limited foresight; it's reactive rather than proactive (see the figure above I made to illustrate this) because we can only see what's in front of us, whereas God sees all (such as Genesis 3:15, Psalm 139, Revelation 22:13).
The Christian faith is similar. If we live our lives from our own me-centered, finite perspective, we are most surely going to be reactive to the events in our lives (Image Source). We will operate from the only instruction manual we've got (and that we trust) - ourselves and our own experiences.
But if we live our lives from a different perspective - one that provides more clarity, direction, and is not biased towards me - we can take into consideration all of the factors and make wiser, more informed decisions. Have you known anyone like that? It seems like in the midst of a storm they're as calm as a sunny day at the beach. It's refreshing, really. And there's something about it that is appealing to us, like they know something we don't.
In the sermon on Sunday, our church's pastor talked about assessing himself as a financial giver. He rated himself pretty favorably, as I'm sure many of us would (I know I would). But then he asked himself, "Am I the best person to be judging myself?" He realized that it's easy for us to come up with lies to tell ourselves, and that we above everyone else believe our own lies the most.
To live a "Trutheran" Christian life, we must swallow our pride and let God tell us how to live our lives (2 Chronicles 7:14). We may not always like the answers we get (Matthew 19:16-22), but we cannot continue to live the way we do and expect to be close to God. Furthermore, we cannot live short-term focused lives because all it does is serve ourselves in the moment rather serving God and His will, His Kingdom, and His plans for this earth (Image Source).