Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Enhanced Perspective

Have you ever wondered why there are so many great Christian men and women that read the same scriptures and come to so many different and seemingly contradictory conclusions? Well, me too! There's actually a good way to understand this phenomenon, and understanding it can really help us in our discipling.


Perspective and fluid circumstances, are things that can be difficult to get our mind wrapped around. If only we were like the Lord and had unlimited knowledge. Yet, we will find that we don't need all knowledge if we have a great thinking strategy.

One reason we are commanded to be transformed by the renewing of our mind is because when we come to the Lord we think like the world. The challenge to transition our thinking is analogous to the question, "does a fish know he is in water?"

How can we take on God's thinking process when we are not even sure where the boundaries of our worldly thinking lie?

Jesus thought in ways that were foreign to everyone on the planet. He used parables, teachings and penetrating questioning to either enhance and/or disrupt worldly thinking and instill the mind of Christ. His perspective was extraordinary and had to be "discipled" or should I say, taught, mentored, coached and demonstrated.

Knowledge Impacts Perspective

Let's use a metaphor to illustrate "perspective," and why it is not our enemy and can be embraced. Understanding the concept of "perspective," will have the effect of bringing us closer to our brothers and sisters in the Lord and thereby bring us closer to our Father.

If I hand you a photo of a backpack laying on a table and ask you to describe everything you know about it, you can only give me so much information.

If I walk you around the table that the backpack is sitting on, you can give me even more information. In fact, there may be something that you would describe differently, now that you have more information. Yet, we still don't have all the information that we could have.

Next, I'll have you handle the bag. As you lift the backpack from the table you feel the weight. You can feel the material it's made of. You can tell if the bag is wet or dry. You can now, examine the harness, the pockets, the secret pockets, the loops, etc.

You can test the capacity by adding things to it and you can play with the adjustments on the harness. You can describe the contents and tell me if the water bottle has hot or cold liquid in it. Maybe you thought it was empty before you held it? Maybe you didn't even see the bottle in the picture?

Experience Impacts Perspective

Let's get the perspective of two hikers, Josh and Sarah, and compare their knowledge and experience with our backpack.

If I ask Josh, about the backpack and he has only seen a picture of the pack, he is going to give a much different and possibly contradictory description from, Sarah, who has handled and tested the pack. Yet, both are correct!

What we see here is we are getting accurate information but from two different perspectives. The backpack doesn't send a different message to the hikers. It always tells the same story. Yet, the information we have about the bag sets our perspective. Especially, if we are not open to new information about the bag.

So, the antidote for perspectives that seemingly divide, is our curiosity!

Telling the Truth

The backpack is the Word of God and we are the hikers. The perspectives are Christian's describing what they see and experience. The Word of God is always telling the truth. Yet, when two Christians begin to discuss a biblical topic they can seem and feel like they are at odds with each other.

There's a good chance that they are describing the same thing but from a different perspective due to dissimilar information.

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. - Matthew 13:12 NLT

We can use these moments to bond rather than divide if we have a higher way of thinking and it only takes one person in the conversation, with an understanding of "perspectives," to guide that interaction to harmony. Curiosity and deep listening are skills that are developed by disciples of the Lord who seek to lay down their life, in life. What a great way to serve the Lord!

There are many other examples we can pull from this metaphor but you get the idea.

We still need to be vigilant to uphold and defend the doctrine we understand. However, we may find that if we spend a little more time with each other, with the intention of hearing, serving and loving our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we may not be as far apart as it may seem.

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Take Action!

How can I serve my fellow Christians in great ways? 
Spend time with them and be curious about them and their lives. Grab a cup of coffee together. Have diner. 
  • How are they doing?
  • What concerns them?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • How can I help?

In The Cool Zone and More Life in My Day are sister websites dedicated to discipleship. They work in tandem, providing the teaching and coaching for growing in the Lord and becoming effective in our walk with the Lord. 
Take a quick read of, Curiosity... How Can You Get It Back?, from More Life in My Day and discover how you can hold your brothers and sisters in the Lord up. 
Here are additional resources to help develop your strategy: 
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. - Philippians 2:1-4 NLT 

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept

“Understanding 'perspective' will bring us closer.”


In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks.

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