Wearing Smudged Glasses Can Be Bad For Your Health

Back when I was a new Christian, I heard a sermon that was very thought-provoking. The pastor was talking about how God chose to see Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, through "favor glasses." Think about it. Mary wasn't "saved" when she conceived Christ. She was still a tainted, unsaved human. Yet, in spite of her imperfect humanity, God chose to see her as being worthy to bear the Savior of the world.

At least in that one way (wearing glasses that affect our vision), we're the same as God. We see people through "glasses," too. Only, our human lenses are usually smudged. I think that explains why two different people looking at the same situation can perceive it in different ways. They have different experiences up to that point and those experiences influence how they see things.

The point is your perceptions in your interpersonal conflicts aren't necessarily 100% accurate. You don't see other people through the eyes of objective truth. You see them through your own, tainted, imperfect, injured eyes, and, even then, at best, you see only tidbits of truth.

First Corinthians 10:9-12 says it best. "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now, I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

Did you catch the part about how "...we see only a reflection as in a mirror..."? Another version says "we see through a glass darkly." Our vision is limited, and our understanding and perceptions are limited.

How does this relate to your health? It affects your relationships, which, in turn, affect your emotions and your physical tension level. And the more physical tension you have, the worse it is for your physical body and your health.

So, here's how to reverse that problem: if you feel extremely hurt or angry because of a situation, realize there may have been no intentional assault against you.

Here's an example: one of my patients had a flare-up of migraines, which she attributed it to being "excluded" from her daughter's wedding plans. But she was wrong about the cause. Her own past triggers were the problem. My patient felt "excluded" most of her life--even when she was a small child. She told me so, indirectly, during many previous visits.

When my patient was a teenager, she wore a back brace and felt excluded by the other kids, as nobody ever asked her to the proms. When she was in college, she felt excluded by the sorority girls. She felt excluded at work, and she felt excluded at home. It was the theme of her life and it's what her lenses were made out of.

Ultimately, through prayer, and with a little help from my book, Radical Well-being, my patient came to understand the underlying source of this feeling. Deep down, she felt unworthy of love and attention. She even felt unworthy in God's eyes. So, any time other people didn't make a big fuss over her, she perceived that they were excluding her [because she was unworthy].

My patient went on to receive even more healing truth from. God through prayer. Other people weren't intentionally excluding her. They just weren't thinking of her at all. The reason is it wasn't about her! She kept saying, "It isn't about me! It isn't about me!" Those other teenagers and those sorority girls and co-workers weren't excluding her. They had their own baggage to contend with. They were just trying to get by amidst the muck of their own lives.

Here's the take-home message: the next time you feel offended or hurt, realize "It's not about you." When you realize this, it's a lot easier to forgive those who hurt you and thus experience the peace and joy God longs for you to have.

The Christian Post