Rob and I have beautiful, intelligent, witty children. If you think that I simply say that as their parent, you haven’t met them! Because you would agree J Rob and I enjoy them immensely, and we learn a lot from them.
Yesterday, Jake and I were talking through his summer internship decision, and he mentioned a quote that he’d been thinking about. It was something like, “When you’re looking through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”* And my immediate response was, “Oh, that will preach!” And it will! Because it’s true!
Out of His love and purpose for us, our Heavenly Father is faithful and diligent to send us warnings when we are headed in the wrong direction or pursuing something that will bring us harm. And here is the reality (whether we like it or not): if we insist on wearing our rose-colored glasses and excusing or ignoring God’s red flags, the danger still lurks on the other side. We just aren’t allowing Him to protect us from it.
I see this in my young ladies who are in dating relationships that they know are broken. They insist on tolerating and excusing poor decisions and weak character – because they are in love and because it seems like the sacrifices are better than being alone. Sometimes they just have a feeling that the man is not for them! But they press on – only to eventually find themselves lonely, dissatisfied, and frustrated a few years down the road. It was those rose-colored glasses that made the red flags just look like flags!
I see it in our decisions to buy things that we can’t afford. The car is so much fun to drive. The shoes were so comfortable. The dress fit like a glove. The house is in the perfect neighborhood. And we would never say that there weren’t warning signs that we were headed down a dangerous path, but we went with our want over our wisdom, and then we paid the price.
We often wear rose-colored glasses when we see warning signs in our children’s behavior and excuse it as part of their age or immaturity. We justify their rebellion because of something they’ve been through... We wear rose-colored glasses when we ignore key relationships in our lives and think that they will workout somehow. When we prioritize the immediate and neglect the most important and the long-term… We wear them when we insist on harboring anger and bitterness, and fail to see the damage that it is doing to us and those around us. Life is busy and it is demanding. Unless we are purposeful, it can be easy to only focus on somehow and someday, and miss the warning signs that our Heavenly Father lovingly provides right now.
Our God desires to protect us if we will let Him. When He gives us instructions in the Bible, He isn’t holding out on us or keeping us from something. He is protecting us! He sees the entire picture. We only see the tiniest part. And in my experience and observation, when we are not headed in the right direction, God faithfully sends warnings and directives that we should pay attention to:
“You shouldn’t be dating him.” “Call her.”
“You shouldn’t be going there.” “You need to forgive and move on.”
“You should stop watching this.” “They are not good friends.”
“You are shopping too much.” “You need to stop talking.”
He gives us warnings to guard our lives - if we will listen! When we are veering off track, God faithfully sets up barricades to bring us back. He loves us that much. But here’s the bottom line: We can choose to ignore His direction and our lives will demonstrate the consequences, or we can listen and enjoy His protection and provision and live in the peace that comes with it.
Read these verses out loud if you can,
This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:17-18NIV
God has great things for us. He wants to teach us what is best for us. We don’t always know! He wants us to enjoy peace and satisfaction. We will never be able to avoid all of the trouble in this lifetime, but we can avoid a lot of it by listening for God’s direction. If we sense that He is saying “no,” “stop,” or “wrong way,” we want to listen.
Rose-colored glasses impair our vision. We must stop excusing and dismissing legitimate warning signs and perhaps make some hard choices. As difficult as the decisions may seem now, they will only get harder, and we will only suffer more damage if we proceed. Our God has great things for us, and He is with us through every decision and step that we take.
If as you were reading this something in your life was coming to mind - pay attention!
**Jake said that this quote came from a cartoon that can have inappropriate humor. I am advocating the truth of the quote – not the cartoon J
*Devotional taken from Peace That Passes, available for a brief time on a store link for $15.
** If you have not yet started following Relay on social media, will you do so today? And will you please share the sites? Our intense desire is to encourage and inspire our walk with our Heavenly Father, and to make it easy to talk about and share.