Perspective n. – relation in which parts of subject are viewed by the mind; view. Oxford Illistrated Dictionary
The Latin root meaning of perspective is “look through” or “perceive”.
Perspective can mean different things. In geometry it is the relation of two figures in the same plane, in art it is used to give the impression of depth, our eyes do the same when viewing a landscape and it is also the particular way we think about things and people.
It makes such a difference what our perspective is. Most of us go around not really thinking about it. We just assume that what we are seeing, thinking and feeling is right. My Mom always says, “I know. I am good at reading people!” The thing is, she’s not always right. She is looking at things from her own perspective and heart condition.
Growing up, I also came to believe that I could “read” people and reacted to them on this premise. I believed I knew what they were thinking and feeling by their expressions, actions and words. Most of the time, I was wrong because I was looking at things from my own perspective.
Do we really know anyone? We think we do, especially those we are closest to and we likely know them better than most, but we only know what they tell us and what we observe.
The only one who truly knows us is God. He sees our hearts, knows our thoughts and intentions even more than we know ourselves!
I mean, think about it. I know there are thoughts I have had and things I have done that I have never told anyone and most likely never will. Not even those I trust and love the most. The reality is no one could bear to hear and know everything about me except God. The burden is too great!
So what makes me think I can know and understand what another person’s burdens are? What makes me think I know what they are really thinking and feeling, often without even knowing them! I can empathize with some and have compassion on others but I can never fully enter into their experience, only God can. This is why I so desperately need the Lord!
Not only do I need Him for my own salvation and ability to live in this world with any sense of joy and dignity, but I need him so that I can show grace to others. I can’t know and love others the way they need to be, but God can. It is only through the love of Christ in my life that I can begin to try to love others well.
Of course, that begins by seeking His perspective, not mine because my perspective is skewed. It is influenced by my past, how I feel, what I am going through in my life, what I have heard and observed from the person or those around me, my own sin and what I believe. God’s perspective is true and Holy. His only agenda is for His glory and our best.
This is why I need to seek His perspective through prayer and the reading of His Word.
Wow! That seems impossible to do on a daily basis and it is if I try to do it on my own. This is why I need to look at Christ every morning, in fact all through my day to check my perspective. Am I looking and responding with humilty and love? But I am still dust and forget and fail. It is at these times I have to look at myself through the eyes of Christ, repent and try again.
Oh Lord, I need you so desperately in order to live life with a new perspective. I want to see others through your eyes and not my prideful, sin filled eyes, that only seeks my own glory. Father forgive me for the times I have and will do this. Holy Spirit, teach me, guide me, open my eyes and remind me to look with your perspective of humilty and love and there I will find my peace and joy! You alone are holy and worthy of all honour and glory, amen!
Beloved of God, let’s strive to see each other from a different perspective. Before we jump in and speak, before we jump to conclusions and judgments, my prayer is we would pause and think on what our Saviour’s perspective would be. Are our thoughts and feelings in line with his? Are we seeking His glory or ours? Take time to try and see things from the other person’s perspective and if you can’t, ask for supernatural power to love anyway.