What’s your point of reference?

The child finally broke.

“I’m done with Church, mama”, she said one Sunday evening, “I can’t keep going if it causes this much pain”.

Mama was sympathetic.

She said she had been there before. She talked about a time when just the realization that it was Sunday morning caused real sadness. “It was like this heavy burden I prayed to be delivered from”, mama said, “But then I realized I had my eyes on all the wrong places”.

“I’m just really tired, mama”.

Mama was sympathetic.

She said she knows that terrain very well. She traversed it for way too long. “I found the way to freedom only after I shifted my focus, and remembered the true point of reference”.

“I’ll think about it, mama”.


The child was bleeding life, but was still doing all he could to not let go.

“I don’t know what else to do”, he told mama after Church one Sunday.

Mama was sympathetic.

“Did you know I almost left too?” she told him, “It was like I was being carved like a turkey, and I worried that there would be none of me left by the time the people at church were through with confirming me to the image they wanted”.

“So why didn’t you leave, mama?”

“Because I realized that that’s just what the problem was”.

Mama talked about people, and why it is a misstep to make their expectations your point of reference. “People are just that”, she said, “They’re just people”, and we cannot let them define us, or our purpose. Even if they think they can”.

Mama said people would disappoint you, and sometimes, they don’t even know it’s what they’re doing.

She said she was transformed when she shifted her focus, and remembered the true point of reference.

“God is the center of it all”, she said, “It is He who holds it all together, steadies me, and makes my steps sure”.

“So what should I do with this pain, mama?”

“Where is your focus, child? What’s your point of reference? What is the purpose of Church for you?”

“I’ll think about it mama”.


But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (Galatians 5:15).


For Sharing

28 thoughts on “What’s your point of reference?”

  1. I think our point of reference comes from our our perceptions, touched deeply by our personal pain, and our perceptions may be wrong. Misunderstandings happen so easily. It is important to talk with the Lord and share with trusted others our response to situations or comments made and work it through. It is too easy to jump to conclusions. Thanks for sharing.

    • True. We don’t always know why people do what they do, and we cannot be too careful with our response. Thanks for visiting, Cheryl. Many blessings to you!

  2. There has been a time I stayed and a time I have gone. May we lean in to hear the Lord’s voice as He guides. I have been most grateful for each of these times, as His ways have always been for my good.

  3. Boma, hi. For sure, people will disappoint us and we will easily become discouraged if our eyes are on them.

    Oh, to keep our eyes on Jesus. His approval and love and acceptance is what we’re yearning for …

    • Hi, Linda! Oh, to keep our eyes on Jesus! Amen! And it’s true, the approval and love and acceptance we yearn for can only be found in Him. Thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you!

  4. My point of reference must be from an eternal perspective. When I look at all of my own life’s circumstances and that of the world through the lens of eternity with focus on God who holds eternity in His hands, that is where I find my joy and peace.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • So true, Karen! Eternity is too long to be sacrificed for this transient world. Thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you!

  5. What is our point of reference? Great question. There are times I have left a church and moved on. God is my point of reference and I pray I am faithful in listening well and leaning into Him.

  6. People will always disappoint us but when keeping our eyes on Jesus will not cause so much pain. It will allow us to see through Jesus eyes. To see His people and their hearts more than seeing them as who they stand as before us physically. Very good advice you gave here. =)

    • So true!! Keeping our eyes on Jesus would allow us see through His eyes. Thanks for visiting, Carmen. Many blessings to you!

  7. Ack. All too often we let our focus and point of reference become other people and what they do or say or think instead of using Jesus as our point of reference.

  8. I love the tender and relatable imagery of a child and their Mother as she gently leads them into a less self-centered point of view. We often place unrealistic expectations on churches and the people in them.