Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Power Of Perspective

There is one crucial thing you must do when trying to find and live the truth, one thing that most people neglect. It's the same as what it takes be a great putter in golf. You must get a correct read of the green. Will the ball go straight or break to the right or left? What is the slope and speed? To best determine all of those factors, it is crucial to see the line you are putting on from all sides. 

I've been lazy at times and just looked at a putt from where my ball rested. When I missed the putt by several feet, I couldn't believe how bad I misread the green. Then I'd walk to the other side and see that the green sloped down a lot more than what it looked like from where I was putting. You would be amazed how different a green can look from different perspectives depending on where you are standing. The green can actually look like you are putting uphill from one side of the hole and downhill from the other!

Life is much like that also. Problems and life circumstances can look a lot different when viewed from a different perspective. So it is always important to keep that in mind and always try to look at an issue more than just from your own eyes. 

For example, when I tend to complain about my circumstances, I just have to put myself in the shoes of those I have encountered around the world and realize how well I have it. One reminder is this fact sheet to help us put life into perspective:
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep… You are richer than 75% of this world.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness .. You are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… You are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death… You are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If you can read (and apparently you can)… you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
  • If you have a little money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place… You are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
When we walk in another person's shoes, as the saying goes, or look at the problem, disagreement or issue from the eyes of another person or place, we can always get a much more complete picture.  Sometimes we get confirmation that our view is correct. But more often our reality changes. That is what the prophet Nathan did with King David to convict David of his sin, by telling Him the story of the rich man taking the poor man's only lamb. David's perspective was shattered and corrected.  2 Samuel 12.

To get a more complete picture we should:
  • Start with a Biblical perspective. This gives you a foundation of truth and God's perspective.  
  • When you are in conflict with another, set aside a time to talk about the issue. Each person must listen to the other, without making comments. Then repeat back what you heard them say.  Once done, then you can work on solutions to the problem.
  • Build relationships with those who are different from you, older, younger, from other ethnicities, or from different places. Listen to their stories!  
  • Expand your world. Travel.  Go on mission trips. Serve others. Discover how others live. 
We have little to lose and much to gain by taking the time to view life from all sides. Then we see and can better understand truth.   "Another Man's Shoes" poem.

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