Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Different people have different ways of looking at things. There are some who naturally tend to focus on the negative point of view. There are others who, no matter how difficult the situation, are consistently able to find joy. These differences in people are why we need each other. When one is feeling down, another can speak a word that shifts our perspective.
This past week your Aunt Angela and I stopped in at our local garden store to purchase some plants for the front flower garden. We had such a blast picking out different varieties of perennials and planning how they would look best in the bed. I was thrilled to find that the rose bushes were on sale. Since that is one of my favorite flowers I purchased three of them.
Upon returning home Aunt Angela instructed me on the proper way to plant and fertilize to ensure a good start for the various species. When we got to the rose bushes she made a comment that caught my attention: “Be careful when planting these bushes. Thank goodness that thorns have roses!”
I just couldn’t help but smile. I had never considered this perspective. My focus had always been on the negative fact that roses had thorns. It took someone else to shift my mind to the positive angle that thorns have roses.
Paul says in his letter to the Philippians that we should train our minds to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable. When we do this it is easier to give thanks in all circumstances; that is God’s will for us. As we give thanks even when life is difficult, we show our trust in a God who has our best interest at heart and has everything under control.
So change your perspective the next time a difficult circumstance threatens to scratch you and cause you to lose your joy. Choose to focus on what is true – that God is almighty, that He loves you, and that He has everything under control.
Oh, and the next time you get scratched by a thorny tangle of rose bushes, smile real big and remember to give thanks that thorns have roses.