Perspective: Roses or Thorns?
June 3, 2020

Have you ever woken up in a bad mood? You hadn’t interacted with your spouse, children, or your boss yet. You just simply didn’t feel like dealing with the challenges of the day. All you really wanted to do was pull the covers back over your head and go back to sleep. Maybe, you were having a wonderful morning until you encountered morning traffic. Perhaps life was good until you arrived at the workplace, and a supervisor or colleague said or did something that ticked you off. The list is endless of things that trigger within us offense, anger, frustration, discouragement, etc. Emotions are a part of our very being, and it seems like sometimes we are on an emotional roller coaster barreling full steam ahead.

Why Do We Act Like That?

I have discovered that perspective can play a major part in how we view, feel, and interact with life. Perspective is our attitude toward something, or the way we interpret our surroundings. Our perspective can come from many areas such as family upbringing, culture, experiences, and ideologies we have learned over the years. Like a two-edged sword our attitudes are able to propel us forward with fierce precision, or keep us in a self-defeating mindset.

What Do We Need To Do So Our Circumstances Won’t Determine Our Attitude?

As a classroom teacher, I required my students to memorize and recite inspirational poems to set the tone of our class for that day, and to encourage them to be the best that they could be. One of my favorite poems was called “Watch” by Frank Outlaw, creator of the successful US supermarket chain, “BI-LO”. Here is that poem:

Watch your thoughts, they become words;
Watch your words, they become actions;
Watch your actions, they become habits;
Watch your habits, they become character;
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

The advice to WATCH our thoughts, words, actions, habits, and character is the first step to ensuring that life conditions don’t shape or break us. Likewise, Proverbs 4:23 urges us to guard and carefully pay attention to our thoughts. This is because our life is shaped by our thoughts and affections. In other words, we need to think about what we are thinking about. Periodic check-ups from the neck up can assist us in controlling our response to our day to day happenings. If our perspective is causing us to be negative and unsuccessful in areas, then it’s time to change our way of thinking! Ephesians 4:23 says to be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

Methods I Frequently Use To Stay On Top Of My Attitudes:

  • Feed my mind with scriptures from the Bible
  • Be intentional about evaluating my personal views and judging if they are helping or hurting me.
  • Take a moment to readjust what I am zeroing in on. Flip it to make it more empowering and productive

The quote below really hits the bull’s eye on PERSPECTIVE:

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”


How will you make your attitude GREATER than your surroundings?

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