We were watching Gladiator over the weekend and at one point during one of the arena scenes, I turned to Sarabeth and said, “I’m so thankful movies like this have been made so that history can be brought to life.” Then I stopped and added, “At least someone else’s perspective of history.”
That’s played a big part in our national conversation the past few weeks, hasn’t it? Depending on your perspective of race or your stance on self-defence and the right to bare arms, or the structure of the judicial system, you had an opinion on the Zimmerman verdict.
Depending on your interest in international affairs, you have a perspective about the arrival of a future king in England.
You hold a certain perspective about divorce, abortion, church, God, gay rights, and even of yourself.
Anton Ego nails it toward the end of Ratatouille when he’s asked what he would like to order. “You know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?”
He was willing to have some other perspective than his own.
We’re house training Prim right now, and yesterday I had to introduce her to the leash outside because she ran off from me twice, and I don’t necessarily care for her to fall down a drain or get lost in the bushes. So, with me on one end of the leash, and my puppy on the other, the epic battle began.
You’d have thought I was pulling in a marlin the way she twisted and jumped and jerked like a snagged fish out of water. I just wanted her to potty on the grass, and according to Sarabeth, Prim wasn’t trying to disobey me – she was just curious about this strange object stuck on her neck.
Wars are often fought over differing perspectives. Fear stems from distorted perspectives. Crimes are committed based off of selfish perspectives.
But who’s perspective matters most? Who’s opinion outweighs others? Through whose perspective do you view the world?
Prim and I probably would have had a much more successful time outside if I had viewed the situation with her and the leash through her perspective – that she wasn’t trying to get under my skin, but that she just wanted to know what was limiting her movement.
When Sarabeth and I argue or have a disagreement, the best thing for us to do is look at the situation through the others’ perspective.
When it comes to political and religious topics, Christians are wise and correct to view the circumstances through God’s perspective.
Honestly, I’d love to just give in, throw my hands in the air, and not stand against gay marriage, welfare abuse, poor politics, and heretical preaching – it’d be much easier to just sit back and accept the world the way it is. But because I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, I have the choice to use God’s heart, His ears, and His voice, and view the world through His perspective.
I’d love to not lie awake at night thinking of all the unsaved people I know and how I can effectively witness and minister to them. It would be so much easier to just go about my work, mind my business, and be merely friendly. But somewhere in the back of my mind, God’s perspective breaks through and I’m reminded that I’m to do so much more and show my managers and coworkers His love, His grace, and His gift of salvation.
So I ask you, through whose perspective are you viewing the world? View it through your own, and you’ll be fickle, flowing whichever direction the world decides to turn. View it through God’s and you’ll have a firm foundation on which to stand, and a reason to live – other than for yourself.