by Andrew Cromwell
I tend to see things one way. My way. Knowing this, I do my best to see things from another perspective. If I’m dealing with someone and we just don’t see “eye-to-eye”, I do my best to give them the benefit of the doubt and see things from their point of view.
This is all well and good until my emotions get involved. Because when my feelings get hurt or when I get angry—I stop playing the part of the cool, detached “bigger perspective” person who can see the value in everyone’s opinion. Suddenly, the other person’s view not only doesn’t make much sense, it’s just downright dumb.
Even in the best of moments, I am severely limited. As much as I try to see the bigger picture, I find that my own selfish perspective keeps slipping in and clouding my view. And I get stuck there until I remember that there is another, better way.
When I remember what God said to Isaiah—” my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways”—it wakes me from my selfish slumber. I must admit, it is a little embarrassing when I discover that I once again have fallen into the old pattern of thinking that I could figure things out on my own. But after I get over myself and face up to the reality that if I try to get a new perspective without first inviting God into the situation, then I have done nothing but just “try”.
Trying is nice. Doing is better. Have you ever “tried” to be a better person? It rarely works. Before you know it, you’re right back where you started, stuck back in the old thinking and habit patterns. That is because “trying” is a lousy strategy.
Dying is much better. Yes, dying. As in, put a fork in it, it’s done. Dying means that we give up our old perspective because we realize that it is just plain lousy. We give up on “trying” to see from the other person’s point of view. Instead, we replace our old perspective with a new one. We replace our old eyes with new eyes.
God said to Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart.” That’s what you and I need. We need God’s perspective. Enough with “trying” to figure things out and “trying” to hyper analyze the situation. It’s time to realize that we are selfish, limited, broken people that can do little without God’s help.
If we really want to see into another person’s world and to walk a mile in their shoes, we need to ask God to replace our perspective with His perspective. You see, if anyone is able to fully understand a larger view, it is Father God.
So the next time you don’t understand your boss, your spouse, your kids, your co-workers or that crazy driver who just blew by and flipped you off, don’t “try.” Die. Die to your natural reaction of anger, bitterness or frustration. Instead, ask God to give you His perspective, His heart. Ask Him to give you His love for that person.
And you know what? He will.