Keeping Things in Perspective

by | Jun 11, 1997 | Perspective, Trials

A freshman at a local university wrote the following letter to her parents:

     Dear Mom and Dad,
     Just thought I’d drop you a note to let you know about my plans. I’ve
     fallen in love with a guy named Jim. He quit high school after his
     junior year to get married.  About a year ago, he got a divorce.

     We’ve been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the
     fall. Until then, I’ve decided to move in with him. I think I might be

     At any rate, I dropped out of school last week. Of course I’d like to
     finish college sometime in the future.

On the next page, the letter continued:

     Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I’ve written so
     far in this letter is false. None of it is true.

     But it is true that I got a D in Western Civ and flunked Algebra. And it
     is also true that I’m going to need some more money for tuition payments.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out her strategy, does it? Even bad news can sound pretty good if it is kept in perspective. How we evaluate ourselves and the people around us depends on our viewpoint.

Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at a local hospital.

Today you will meet someone wealthier, prettier, or brighter than yourself. You will be tempted to envy her or him. Don’t! God doesn’t ask you to be someone other than you are or to do things outside your sphere of ability. He only expects you to use your gifts with integrity.

Today you may feel the need to whine, blame, or make excuses for something that goes wrong. Don’t! Take steps to put things right, but avoid making yourself look small by ducking responsibility. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you will be bigger in your own eyes and everyone else’s by taking a positive rather than defensive posture.

When all has been said and done today, you may be inclined to take either too much blame or too much credit. Don’t! It may not have been your best day, but it almost surely will not have been your worst either. Submit it to God in prayer, and ask him to make the day count for his purpose in your life.

As this week unfolds for you, try to keep things in perspective.

Rubel Shelly The FAX of Life


Keeping Things in Perspective