The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17, CSB)
Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Do you remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? None of them knew what an elephant was, but wanted to experience it by touching it. They each touched different parts of the elephant and drew conclusions of what it was like based on what they touched. Each one was convinced that he was correct and argued his opinion. Their truth was solely based on what they encountered and none of them was accurate.
How easy is it to see something from someone else’s perspective? Many times it’s difficult because, somehow, we are under the impression that our way of viewing things is the most accurate. But is it really?
One of the reasons why strife breaks out in relationships is because we find it too challenging to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see their viewpoint. That takes too much work.
The story of Saul (later named Paul) immediately comes to mind. If you recall, Saul was a great persecutor of the Christians of his day. He was a Jew from the highest order and sorely believed that the preaching of Christianity was heretical. God had a plan for Saul’s life and later used his zeal for His own purposes. When Saul was apprehended by Jesus, he was able to see the truth. He, at first, was blinded by his encounter but was later prayed for by a believer “and immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight (Acts 9:18).” Saul was now able to see the truth about Jesus as the Messiah and changed his former stance and became a Christian.
Having the right perspective is vital. Otherwise, we can fool ourselves into believing that we know the truth. But that truth may only be from our perception. I’m reminded of the account of Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 6. The king of Aram was waging war against Israel, and God, supernaturally, revealed the king’s plans to Elisha. The king found it out and sent a massive army to capture him. When Elisha’s servant saw the great horde of enemy forces surrounding their city, he basically freaked out, but Elisha wasn’t worried. He knew the truth, but his servant needed a new perspective. “Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see. So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2Kings 6:17, ESV).”Guess who now understood that there was nothing to fear?
Sometimes, in our walk with God, we experience things that could cause our view of God to be faulty. We must remember, however, that God doesn’t make mistakes and that He is true to His Word. If we encounter a disappointment we may think that’s the end of the story; but we can easily forget that God sees the end from the beginning. I love a statement that Adrian always says, “God can see around corners; we can’t.” In other words, there’s more to the story that just has not been revealed to us.
When it comes to life, just because we see something one way, it’s not always the right way. Our perspectives can be skewed by so many factors. What we perceive is strongly influenced by your past experience, education, culture, values and how we were raised.
In dealing with our relationships, marital or otherwise, we must recognize that our outlook may not be the only one and we need be open enough to ask Holy Spirit to give us a heart of empathy to put ourselves in their shoes to get a better understanding of where they are coming from. That requires listening more deeply with, not just the ears, but with the heart. Scripture says, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight (Isaiah 5:21, ESV)!” Let’s be humble enough to admit that we simply don’t know everything. We desperately need God to give us the right perspective. (Pam)