“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV).
Friend to Friend
My grandpa had a magnifying glass he kept on the table beside his chair. It was a heavy-duty lens and as a child I loved positioning it over different items and looking at them in larger-than-life form.
When you look at something under magnification it looks bigger than it really is. The magnified image is no longer congruent to real life because you’re seeing one thing larger than the other things around it. Magnifying something gives a warped sense of how it really is.
This happens when we look at an object under a magnifying glass. It also happens when we look at relationships under a magnifying lens.
The people we live with are imperfect human beings. They have faults. They let us down on occasion. Because we live so closely with other human beings, it becomes very easy to look at their faults through a magnifying glass.
The truth is that someone–the enemy who wants to steal, divide, and destroy–helps to position the magnifying lens on the actions or attitudes that cause us the most hurt, disappointment, or rejection. There’s a battle for our mind and we have to fight that battle every day.
Usually without realizing it, the whispers of the enemy move us from believing the best about someone to believing the worst about them. With their faults maximized and their strengths minimized, we slowly close off our heart to them. This happens in marriage and other significant relationships. It moves us away from the relationship rather than towards the relationship.
It’s not the big things that kill relationships. It’s often the little things that accumulate in our heart over time. Looking at faults through a magnifying glass is a little thing that can do damage over the long haul unless we do something about it.
This is when we need to get our marching orders from 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” What that means is that we need to be aware of our thoughts and determine if they are honoring to God. If they’re not, we need to push our thoughts in a different direction.
When our magnifying glass is on someone else’s shortcomings, it’s a form of judgment and we need to destroy that “lofty opinion” argument in our mind. Then we need to replace it with the truth of who that person is in Jesus’ eyes.
Need some help with this? Here are five next steps to take:
1) Move the magnifying glass. Move your focus from what they do wrong to what they do right. If you’re finding yourself critical of or angry with someone, you’ve likely had tunnel vision on their imperfections. Make a list of their strengths and what they contribute positively to the relationship.
2) Stay focused on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bothers you, all you will see are the things that tick you off. Keep your eyes on what you love so you fill your heart with love.
3) Resist the temptation. If we’re not careful, we’ll start to see our spouse, our challenging child, our sister-in-law, or our friend as an enemy. This is a way the enemy divides and destroys. Don’t take the bait!
4) Believe the best about your loved one. Resist the urge to make their mistake a personal offense towards you. Beware of statements you might make to yourself like, “If he really loved me, he wouldn’t have done that,” or “She did that just to tick me off.” These kinds of statements are fertilizer to negative emotions.
5) Learn to move forward. Sometimes we need to give grace, forgive, and let it go. Sometimes we need to have a conversation with the person and set some boundaries in love. And sometimes we need to realize that our own pride or insecurity is the bigger issue here and it’s helpful to move the magnifying glass from our loved one to ourselves for a few convicting minutes.
That old magnifying glass of my grandpa’s had its place in his world. It helped him see things more clearly at times.
Magnifying glasses in relationships can do the same. It all depends on what you’re looking at.
Dear Lord, I don’t want to let the enemy kill, steal, and destroy the relationships that mean the most to me. Help me to take my judgmental thoughts captive today. If I need to put the magnifying glass on what’s going on in my heart, help me to allow You to do that so I can become more like You today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What relationship do you struggle with the most? Take a few minutes to write down the good qualities of that person. Thank God for those qualities today and every day!
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was written by Guest Writer, Jill Savage. As a gift for you, Jill has a free printable to remind you of 8 Promises You Can Count on In a Crisis. Get it now and tuck it in your Bible for whenever you might need it. You can find it here.
© 2022 by Jill Savage. All rights reserved.
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