Our Perceptions Govern Our Lives

“It is all about how you look at things.” Ever hear that expression? We’re often advised to think positively, to believe in ourselves and to have faith in God. All of these things speak to our perspective on any life issue. All of these pieces of advice can feel like they’re easier to say than be lived, right?

When I was a little girl, living on the farm, come late summer and early autumn, our farmstead was besieged with grasshoppers. I tell you, it was a tiny snapshot of what any locust plague must have looked like. It was hard to walk anywhere without there being a grasshopper right there, almost crunched by my foot.

And my little girl curiosity had me bending down to get a closer look at these critters. I’d focus on their bug eyes, wondering, just what they thought of us people, you know, those giants who often tried not to step on them.

How did the grasshopper look at things?

I was reminded of this grasshopper memory as I studied Numbers Thirteen. The scriptural passage speaks to the power of our perspective on things, whatever that perspective may be.

According to the scripture passage, there was some land. And there was the dilemma about what to do with that land. There were a couple of different viewpoints:

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Numbers 13:30

There’s one…

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
Numbers 13:31

And there’s the other. But that last point of view solicited further feedback. And, as it that wasn’t enough, they went a little tabloid with the news. Oh, goody!

And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:32-33

Ah, yes, we see, in vivid detail, the power of positive thinking in action! Scripture cautions us about our often fickle and insecure hearts…

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7


Why is a bad report so much easier to believe than a good one? We seem to automatically defer to that negative thought, don’t we? We think of ourselves as insects often much quicker and easier than we think of ourselves as conquerors.

What if the thoughts we’ve been thinking have been wrong? About our issues? Our addictions, disorders and compulsions? About our own value and worth? What if you and I are just one teeny tiny thought away from a breakthrough? Do we say, “I can” or “I cannot?”

God is thinking higher of us right now. He believes in us and has given us Scripture to support those beliefs:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Do we believe that? Live that? Allow that to govern our lives? Or do we run ourselves down with the untrue grasshopper identity? We choose.

I know, I know, I know. It is not easy to take on the positive approach to life. It can feel even more impossible to view ourselves positively. This isn’t about some perfect result.
Everything starts with a decision. What will we decide now? Right now?

We will not be perfect and problem free. But we will be in agreement with God. And that has nothing to do with a grasshopper!