Through the Looking Glass
To increase the apparent size of, as a lens does.
To make great in actual size; enlarge.
To cause to seem greater or more important; attribute too much importance to; exaggerate.
Magnify is a verb, an action word, used with an object, specifically a direct object being a noun or noun phrase which is affected by the verb, action.
Grammar lesson aside…to understand the word magnify, you must understand what kind of word it is. It is an action word, which means you must take action for it to happen. Pretty simple stuff right. Run is a verb, so you run. Talk is a verb, so you talk.
Run and talk are easy verbs. Magnify is the type of verb that, when used incorrectly, has a lot more power than people think.
When I think of the word Magnify, to be honest, my first thought is “bible word.” Who really uses that word these days and when someone does, it is usually about magnifying the Lord and all his many and great attributes. In reality, I find, magnify usually has a much more negative connotation. We magnify our social media, our friends, our jobs, our relationships, our bodies, pretty much everything we most likely shouldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about being excited about your likes on Instagram, or comments on Facebook, or being disappointed about problems at work, or a rocky relationship…if we didn’t focus on those issues at times, they wouldn’t bring us joy or we wouldn’t try and fix a problem. Unfortunately, we as a society have a tendency to obsess over the little things that are right in front of us and exaggerate our problems giving them more power over us than was ever intended.
I love myself some social media! I love connecting to people and seeing their photos. I love being able to bring up the news on my phone. I love how our society has progressed into being able to have knowledge at your fingertips. While this is a great thing, it comes at a great cost. I read a statistic from the American Psychological Association that children today have more anxiety than actual psychiatric patients in the 1950’s!
WHAT IS THAT…….
We have been blessed with more technology today than people ever thought possible and yet, all we have been able to do with it is make our lives more miserable!
Over the past month I have been victim of this way of thinking. Although, as I say victim, I realize victim isn’t a great word for it because I allowed a lot of it to happen. My family and I have had quite a few bad situations pile up against us and I allowed the negativity and problems outweigh the good and became so focused on everything that was going wrong that it actually started to rob me of the joy I have for my life.
I think this is a problem that is happening far too often. The negativity builds and it builds and we try to combat it, but eventually it overwhelms us and we are flooded with the problems of life. Those problems can stretch far and wide to a bad relationship to finding out a friend has cancer. All problems are serious if they make you feel bad, don’t let anyone diminish how you feel about something.
Although, amidst all of that, a miraculous thing happens when we step back and stop putting a magnifying glass over all the ‘but’s,’ ‘what if’s’ and ‘why’s’ of life and focus on what is truly important. At risk of sounding “churchy,” that focus really is the Lord. I don’t say that just because it is the church answer, I say that because it is the right answer.
No one’s life ever got worse because they took their focus off themselves and focused on the Lord instead. It may be harder, but not worse.
An amazing thing happens when we magnify the best instead of the worst. Your situation might not improve, but I can tell you one thing for sure, your attitude certainly will.
When we stop, take a step back, realign our focus on what it is meant to be on and stop obsessing over the things of life that are thrown at us daily, our lives will change.
It is as simple and as difficult as that…situations are bad and a lot of times they go from bad to worse. They might not always get better, but when we focus on the Lord, we definitely will.
Twenge, PhD, Jean M. “Studies Show Normal Children Today Report More Anxiety than Child Psychiatric Patients in the 1950's.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 14 Dec. 2000, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/12/anxiety.aspx.