We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 MSG)
Perspective speaks of view. It is an impression or an opinion. It is the angle from where you see, understand, and interpret things. Perspective largely informs why you do the things you do and how you choose to live. Perspective is so powerful, it can structure and restructure your life. Perspective will have you traveling a destructive path for very many years of your life until a superior dimension of thought is supplied.
Why is perspective such an important topic to consider? It is basically because perspectives rule the world. Much more than mere ideas, perspectives can metamorphose into systems. In their most concrete forms, perspectives can spell out the entire belief system of a people. It can provide the template for how a system runs.
But here’s what is interesting about perspective; it is introduced and received, oftentimes by one man who is bold and tenacious enough to drive a thought till it becomes a stronghold in the hearts of others. And by so doing supply a pattern of life for many. But not all perspective is harmful or evil. There is the right and wrong perspectives. And it is needless to say that the source of a perspective determines whether it is wrong or right.
Let’s take the issue of identity for example. And by identity, I don’t mean just names or individual personalities. Although these have their place, identity in this context speaks about the essence of human consistence. The material from which the human was originally derived. The source of human wisdom, understanding, and existence. Which of course is God, the creator.
A sense of identity that has its root in God is balanced. It does not bring about low self-esteem, inferiority complex, timidity, or a fearful approach to life. Neither does it sponsor pride, callousness, unruliness, and a sense of human superiority. All of which are perspectives derived from a distorted understanding of who and what the man is.
When God asked Adam who told him (Adam) he was naked after eating of the forbidden fruit, what God was questioning was perspective. Suddenly Adam believed in a new reality that wasn’t so in the first place. A piece of new information was supplied, and his perspective became altered. Consequently, that new perspective set in motion the downward spiral of the state of everything Adam ever came into contact with. A degeneration began simply because a man began to see and interpret differently.
Evident in our everyday interaction with the world and people are perspectives that govern our lives. Our perspective shows in how we carry ourselves. It is evident in how we handle relationships, opportunities, disappointments, money, power, influence, and even God. The bias with which we approach a thing tells a great deal of what we believe about it.
A man with a broken perspective about power will lord it over a people he has been called to lead. He will exert his authority to the end that he makes dependents and slaves out of the people, rather than seek to raise and empower them. A person with a wrong perspective about relationships will always seek to take advantage of another. For him, it is never about giving but taking. In the same vein, a person with a wrong perspective about money only sees what to spend it on. And most often than not, he spends only to sponsor his materialistic and covetous lifestyle.
Perspective trickles down to how we see God and relate with Him. For many, God is a mean, hard taskmaster who seeks control and is always looking out to punish a man for whatever wrong he does. For another, God is to be used to gain all the good things in life, and when God doesn’t seem to come through, He becomes no good at all. For yet another, God is only an imaginary being who lives in the sky and has no business whatsoever with the man.
We can go on and on about the effects of perspective. But as established earlier, perspective is given. It is usually a by-product of a level of interaction or exposure to a person, an environment, or experience. For one who has suffered lack, money becomes a thing to hold on tightly to, and a means to sponsor a deep-seated lust. For another who has suffered abuse, relationships and power become a revenge mission. An opportunity to take back control and establish a false sense of security.
But am I writing to tell you about all the wrong perspectives that there are? Not entirely. My aim is first to call your attention to the need to check what your perspective has been about life and try to trace back to the point where you received it. The second aim is to establish with you that there is “the perspective” that supersedes every form of human experience or exposure. It is called the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
If you would take the time to acquaint yourself with him, and learn to pass every piece of information or thought through the lens of the words he inspires, your perspective would be exactly what God’s perspective is for every situation. “…For no man knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:11b paraphrased)
If you do this, your response to life and the trusts that Life commits to you in wealth, power, relationships and influence would be balanced and devoid of excesses. Life for you would never be about proving a point, but only about making the purposes of God known with every opportunity.
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” (Proverbs 4:23)