I think a lot about perspective.
It’s probably because so much of the vitriol I see in society is rooted in people believing that they have the One True Perspective. The one, that if everyone would adopt it, would make life so much better for everyone.
I’m even suspicious of my own perspective on different issues from time to time. It’s a great exercise in humility to say, “Maybe I don’t have all the information!” or “I might be wrong on this!” This one might sound corny at first, but perhaps might be the most important, “Here’s where I stand right now, but I’d love to hear your perspective, maybe I can learn something!”
It can feel like every single person has a different perspective on some things that might seem very obvious. I’ve written about the importance of being open to new perspectives previously—check out “Choosing Your Paradigm” or “Look For the Good Stuff” by clicking on the titles.
What and whom do you let tell you what your perspective should be?
What is the “best” perspective? Is there even such a thing?
It feels like we’re all constantly arguing about what the “right” perspective should be on the Bible, abortion, poverty, human rights, gender, sexuality, government involvement… I could go on, right?
Our arguing just causes our culture to be more divided. Is that what you want for the world you live in? To be separated, divided, broken?
I want to continually offer a hope-drenched vision for how we can come together as fellow human beings, united in our common journey, and committed to loving and caring for each other.
My faith tells me that each of us have been made in God’s image. Which means there are diverse parts of God inside of you and inside of me. Many people don’t believe that. Maybe more people haven’t been able to see that an amazingly beautiful part of themselves reflects a piece of the Creator. They haven’t been shown or told how beautiful they are. We can do that for each other!
Christians also believe, not just the image of God, but the power of God is living inside many of us, as well, in the form of the Holy Spirit. These are pretty powerful truths to hold onto. They speak to how incredibly valuable each of us are.
But still we find it so thrilling to argue. And to try to get people to see things more from our perspective. (It is super helpful to have people in your life that share your perspective, but not at the cost of cutting people out of your life who don’t share it.)
Crazy Hope is one of my ways of putting hope into the world. It’s free to subscribe, but if you’d like to lend me a hand, please considering subscribing at one of the paid levels. Thank you!
You might have a perspective on a challenging topic like abortion because of your own life experience. Or perhaps someone told you what the Biblical view is supposed to be.
Being raised in the church taught me one perspective that I was to have about all the important topics of the day. And I was supposed to try to get everyone else in the entire world to adopt that same perspective. Or else they would burn in eternal fires. The weight of this trauma on a small kid cannot be understated.
Is it your job to impose your perspective on another person? Or is it a gift we could offer someone to seek to understand why they might have a different perspective than us? Or should we just argue about it until the other person changes their mind? (When has that ever happened? Similarly, when has a bumper sticker ever made you change your mind about who to vote for!)
Many people are losing hope these days. And I believe it’s because they are buying into perspectives that aren’t driven by faith, hope, or love. They are being driven by fear. Even within the church.
If you adopt a perspective that makes clear which people are the evil ones, you are denying the God-ness, the goodness, in those people.
Is your perspective one of peace? Or is it one of battle?
You might bring up your favorite movie to a friend and they proceed to tell you how horrible they thought it was. How about your favorite song? It might be the song that gives you life on a dull day, but to many others, it’s simply dreadful. I don’t mind so much if people don’t like my favorite 80’s music or if they think “Chariots of Fire” was a drag. I’ll even tolerate people thinking that baseball is boring… cause it sure can be.
But there are certain things that matter more to me than sports, films, or music. At the top of the list is how I treat people. And I’m committed to treating people with love and kindness, even if they don’t share my perspective. Because of my past indoctrination in judgmentalism, I know that I wasn’t a bad person. I was just taught a perspective that wasn’t completely loving, even if we thought it was.
You get to choose your perspective. And I want to encourage you to choose a perspective that brings you life—one that allows love to flow to and from you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!!! I really would!
I love this excerpt from Children’s Ministry On Purpose by Steve Adams:
The word perspective comes from a Latin root word meaning “look through.” In essence, each person’s perspective is the frame through which they see and interpret the world. You can ask ten people to look at the same painting and you will probably hear ten different interpretations and opinions. This is because we see and interpret situations, events, conversations—even ministry— through lenses that have been unconsciously defined by our individual belief systems.
Think about your perspective and how it differs from other adults in your life. Many things, such as experiences, culture, travel, education, faith, family, hobbies, and values shape our perspectives. Our perspective is our reality. We don’t always see things as they truly are. This is important to acknowledge because each of our perspectives also shapes our point of view or standpoint on ministry.
How is it that two people can see the same movie, read the same book, look at the same piece of art, or witness the same event, but have completely different interpretations of what they saw or read? It’s because of perspective. Perspective is the lens through which you see and interpret the world around you. Your perspective is your reality. A person’s perspective, or the way they see things, is shaped by many factors, such as family, education, life experiences, travel. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, our perspective has tremendous influence on our attitude and approach to life and ministry.
If you live near Rochester, MN please join me for a great event coming up April 22nd & 23rd at Evangel United Methodist Church. I’m going to be singing a few songs as a part of this great fundraiser for the Salvation Army Food Shelf. (I’ll also be singing a couple of my own songs in their Sunday morning services!) Please come say hello, hear some great music, and support a great cause! Tickets and more info here!
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday ❣️❣️
My sister in law Cindy will be joining me. I look forward to the 2 of you meeting. She enjoys your music. As for the topic of discussion this week. I sincerely believe that if you ask for God’s forgiveness and forgiveness of others, do what God wants us to do is love one another, don’t judge and be there for your Family/Friends. You are doing God’s work
As always, say hello to your parents for me
Your Friend Forever in Christ