Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
'Reframing a situation' is a phrase that means seeing things in a different context or hearing something from a different perspective.
Connirae and Steve Andreas tell an old Chinese story about a man who owned a very special horse. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors said, “That’s bad.” The farmer replied, “Maybe.”
The horse returned the next week bringing two wild horses with him. All his neighbors said, “That good.” The farmer said, “Maybe.”
His son tried to ride one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All his neighbors said, “That’s bad.” The farmer said, “maybe.”
The next week the army came searching for young men to conscript for their war. Because of the youth’s broken leg they wouldn’t take him. And you guessed it, all his neighbors said, “That’s good.”
This is an example of reframing a situation in a different context. In a peaceful community, a broken leg was a bad thing. In a war time conscription the boy’s broken leg may have prevented him from having to go to war.
One of the greatest reframes in all of history is the cross. It was a tool of execution. It was a symbol of embarrassment for anyone who would be executed on one. It was cruel and usual punishment. When Jesus was executed upon the cross it became the greatest symbol of love history has ever known. The power of a life well-lived demonstrating the love of God has the power to transform symbols and lives.
When Christ dwells in us, how might we reframe the world? Will we become a living symbol of God’s kindness toward others, a living symbol of God’s love to all of his children? We may never have thought of our relationship with God and the impact it has on others in this way before--but you can be sure God has thought about it.
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