It’s disconcerting how one’s perspective can distort the truth of a matter and how quick we are to make premature judgments based on our own narrow view of a situation. This short video is a fun example:
I admit that I began watching this clip with some less-than-pleasant sentiments toward the young man depicted eating cookies with this elderly lady. But by the time this video played out, my impression of this fellow had done a complete about-face and the negative thoughts had turned to ones of admiration and praise.
It’s scary how easily I can believe the worst of someone based on my own narrow vision. Judging by the initial reaction of my friends and family members who watched this video with me, it appears I am not alone in jumping to rash conclusions. Wisdom would tell me my own viewpoint is limited truth, yet time and again, I make premature judgments about a person or situation based solely on my (often skewed) perspective.
While an easy definition for “perspective” would be to simply refer to it as a “point of view,” I was intrigued by a more technical definition of Merriam Webster’s: representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance.
Let’s face it, there is no perfect way to accurately portray a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface. As talented as some artists can be, their representation of a figure on a flat surface is still just an illusion drawn from the artist’s point of view.
Likewise, the stance from which we form our frame of reference is key in our portrayal of the reality before us. Be it people, circumstances, or even God.
That is why I am challenging myself (and you, if you’re up for it) to seek out perspective-magnifying opportunities. And I can think of no better place to start than from a position of honor and gratitude.
When I look at the surrounding world and all the cries of outrage over “freedom” and “rights’ and “not rights,” I can’t help but believe we are entirely too wrapped up in our own points of view, ones that definitely do NOT reflect an attitude of honor or thankfulness. Nor ones that are based on truth, but rather rest in the futility of misconstrued speculations.
When people ask my take on how things have gone so awry in this day and age, I generally refer to the following verses from Romans 1:
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures . . . And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper . . .” (Romans 1:21-23, 28 NASB, emphasis mine)
The apostle Paul goes on to list a host of sins that are rampant in our world today (as they were in Paul’s time, also) all because the masses failed to honor God and were ungrateful. Instead of viewing life from the reality of God’s truth, people began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. And because of this, their misconceptions soon overtook them.
To the point where chaos reigned in place of wisdom.
To the place where emotionally reacting with outrage to supposed offenses was the norm.
To the degree where innate characteristics of divine nature were swapped out for unnatural desires and all forms of godlessness overtook society.
Wickedness, greed, evil, hatred, murder, slander, gossip, homosexuality, insolence, malice, arrogance. . . having no mercy, no understanding, untrustworthy covenant breakers . . . haters of God.
Perhaps not one of those above-mentioned things breaks my heart more than that last statement.
Haters of God.
Resenting the very One who breathed life into our beings.
Loathing His presence.
Despising His existence to the point that we have convinced ourselves He no longer exists.
But just because we refuse to believe the truth does not invalidate the truth.
It just shows how warped our perspective has become.
How broken we really are.
When I look at the chaos flooding this world, honestly, I could lose hope.
I could easily despair at the signs of our society acting like a selfish, young man greedily gobbling up an elderly woman’s cookies.
OR I could change my stance . . .
And look at life through a lens of honor and gratitude, anchoring my thoughts and my faith and my heart on one thing:
Instead of being filled with angst, I want to reflect the truth of a timeless God who has promised to fill me with hope. A hope that does not end in disappointment, no matter how futile things may appear.
So today, I choose to seek out the One who sees all things from a perfect point of view.
Today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next . . . I want to approach His throne with honor and thanks, and as Lauren Daigle so confidently sings:
I will stand my ground where hope can be found.
May God’s children continue to find their hope in a Savior who will take all that is wrong with this world and make things right.
In His time.
And while we wait, let’s keep on loving with honor and thankfulness as we partner with Jesus to extend goodness . . . here in the land of the living.