Monday, June 6, 2016

Perspective: Ours is Not the Only One

Everyone has their own unique perspective that is even more amazing than DNA. Our perspective is shaped by so many factors: where you grew up, parent involvement, siblings, parent discipline style, friends, rejections, awards, learning style, church involvement and a multitude of other factors we cannot even imagine.  All these factors mold us and they are more unique than a fingerprint or a zebras stripes. And, a sibling growing up in the exact same environment will view things different and remember things differently and have a different perspective as well. 

There are many different definitions for perspective in Webster, but I’m discussing is 1) the capacity to internally view a subject/circumstances in their true relation to importance (for self and inward pondering) and 2) how a subject (me or you) mentally assigns a view to a subject/circumstance (outward agenda we place on another). Clear as mud, right?

Definition One: Perspective is the capacity to internally view a subject or circumstance in their true relation to importance. We first must decide what our measurement of perspective is. Will you look at things based on how you were molded by the world? Will you look at things based on the True measure: Jesus? 

I once presented two blue AC filters to a class. One was Satan’s filter and one was Jesus’s filter. I asked: Which one do you filter your life and responses through? 

The trick here, my dears, is to realize your perspective is skewed way, way off because that perspective is filled with this world. Can’t change that, can’t dispute that. If you are not actively filtering your circumstances and all that you feel and are and desire through the Jesus filter, then you ARE, by default, filtering through the worldly, Satan filter which is also the ‘self’ filter. 

Every situation has a reaction from us based on our unique perspective. The hardest part is having a perspective that all things can be used for good. It does not say all things ARE good, only that they can be used for good if doubt, bitterness and close-mindedness does not creep in. Being supper vigilant and aware and intentional about putting everything in a heavenly/spiritual/biblical perspective is the only way to have the True relation to importance. All other things we compare to importance such as wealth, material things, lots of friends and likes, don’t hold a candle to the True, important, always constant Lord of All.

The way you internalize perspective will be seen in definition two as you assign that perspective to circumstances. They go hand in hand. They cannot be separated. One can be faked, but Who knows the heart? 

Definition Two: Perspective can also be how I mentally assign a view to a subject of circumstance. Based on the perspective we practice and foster in our heart described in definition one, will come out in our actions, our decisions and our words. 

And remember, our ‘self’ is very judgmental, hardened, harsh, sarcastic and selfish most of the time. 

Don’t think so? What do you think when someone cuts you off in traffic? What do you think of this bathroom mess? What do you think of people who are on the opposite side of the political isle? What do you think about some kid that bullies your kid? What do you think of people with visible tattoos? What do you think about Bruce Genner, Richard Dawkins or David Koresh? If your first reaction is to pray for them because they are a child of God, then bravo! More than most would not because of our perspective. Our perspective is not God’s perspective. Hopefully, we try hard to make it so!

God’s perspective is that no one should perish, but everyone come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). What does that have to do with our perspective? 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The person without the Spirit [heavenly perspective] does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness [based on worldly perspective], and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgements about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgement, for ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” 

Basically, if we do not have Christ’s mind, we cannot begin to tap into the mind of God. It’s kinda like trying to go to Denver, but trying to miss Colorado. Can’t be done. If we have the mind of Christ, since Christ and God are one-in-the-same, we can discern the mind of God also. 

This might sound so radical, but the God I read about from the Bible, will accept anyone who has Jesus as Lord and Master of their heart and been forgiven of their sins regardless of outward appearance, prior convictions or, I even think, still in sins a person just can’t break. God does not expect us to be perfect to come to him, just covered by forgiveness. (I’m not advocating not trying to break sin’s hold on your life.)  Our perspective to look and act a certain way to please God just won’t cut it with people in the hood who duck under the covers at gunshots, people held in sex trafficking that pray every day, people struggling with addictions who beg God to take it away, people with tattoos who reach so many I can't because I would never be credible with them. All theses have a different perspective that is not wrong or right, it just IS. Our perspective cannot be placed on another, even to one in our own family. You know how different even siblings act. 

The most beautifully, mature person in Christ that I have ever seen is one who can throw out their own perspective and sit down with someone who has a totally different perspective and learn from that person. There is no judgement, no assumptions, only acceptance that everyone is a child of God. I’d love to go with the group that goes to Boulder, Co as they just sit and visit with the homeless people for a week. 

How can you rock your perspective, get out of the box you have put God into and bless someone who has a different perspective than you? Blessings!!

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