Several years ago, the Lord impressed upon me the importance of recognizing the role of perspective in my life. In the process of getting understanding about perspective, I also realized that once I understand my perspective there is much work to do. The work includes: finding out if that perspective aligns with the Word of God, what are the practical aspects of the perspective and how does a particular perspective shape my actions. Perspective alone, unchallenged can be tricky. Here is an example of a perspective that I challenged and was forced to change: Being a wife and mother means I have to put my husband and children first at all cost. Since I strive to live a life where others are esteemed more highly than me (Philippians 2:3), my notions of first meant exactly that. What I had to challenge was what God meant by “esteeming others more highly than self”. I had to note that the scripture did not say “put others first.” I then had to gather the data in my mind on how I had learned that “more highly than self” meant “first”. When all was said and done, I could not make the two things equal. I had equated doing all things for all people in my household, to the point of exhaustion and resentment, as meaning that I was serving them in the highest. Something had to give! My children were unable to pick up socks, place dishes in the dishwasher or replace toilet paper on the holder. I was not putting them first at all, I was causing them to take home for granted. My future son and daughter-in-law would hate me for what I was doing to create two unskilled household monsters. Perspective adjustment time. I changed my perspective to one of training and teaching home life skills as the way to truly put my family first. Loving my children enough to care about their long range goals of being a good husband and good wife was actually putting them first as God would see it. Since I have no interest in living with them any longer than I have to, making sure that they can run a household without me is the highest way for me to serve them. The way that the Lord modeled this for us is to send Jesus to be the perfect example for us on earth and as our Redeemer by His shed blood on the Cross. God trains us through various ways for our ultimate success in our fellowship with Him, our serving others and preserving our minds to guard against bitterness. No, “esteeming others more highly than self” does not equal “first” – it equals “Love”!