My son is 6' 5” tall. I am 5' 3” tall. As you may imagine, we make quite the sight walking side-by-side. Considering his height, I have come to rely on him to retrieve certain high-placed items and also items that I cannot see. His height gives him a clear view to things that are blocked for me. In other words, he has a different perspective on the world than I do. I think of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:3, “He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.” (NIV throughout)
Zacchaeus, like me, was short and couldn't see Jesus from where he stood. My son, however, could have easily seen over the crowd. I imagine that my son is able to see some pretty cool things that I miss out on. However, there are a lot of things that he could miss as well. Things I see easily could be overlooked by him from his perspective. As Christians, we too must consider our perspective in life. We want to see what is important and not miss out, but at the same time we want to make sure we have the right perspective.
Changing our ways
In the United States, we recently went through an election. Before Election Day, the airways were filled with ads promoting the candidates or in most cases, slamming one candidate or another. The ads definitely influence some people, but those who are firmly set behind their candidate cannot be moved. From their perspective, their allegiance has to stand with the one that best fits their political affiliation. It doesn't matter to them who the candidate is or what he or she stands for, they cannot turn aside.
This can happen to us as well. Sometimes we get so set in our way of thinking that we cannot see beyond it. We stand fast and cannot be moved. While standing fast in our Christian life is encouraged, there are times when we must be ready for change. In Genesis 35:2-4, Jacob tells his family to put away their foreign gods and purify themselves. They give him their idols and Jacob buries them. They were being asked to change their ways. They were asked to put away their idols.
Sometimes God wants us to change our mind
In the Parable of the Two Sons we are taught how to believe what we are taught. "What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, "Son, go and work in the vineyard today." 29. And he answered, "I will not," but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, "I go, sir," but did not go. 31. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. (Matthew 21:28)
If our perspective is so steadfast on every subject that we cannot listen and respond with an open mind, we may miss out on a point in which God would like us to change so that our lives might reflect His nature in us. God our Father wants us to hear Him and change who we are when we are not in step with His will. He wants us to be obedient.
Faith is based on what we cannot see. One of The biggest problems for Old Testament Israel was that they were constantly looking for the physical. They returned to man-made idols and asked for kings to lead them. They could not or would not consistently follow the unseen God. Even with God's spirit we still struggle to believe without seeing. Satan preys on our desire to see, and will encourage it.
When we take the time to change who we are, God promises to make changes too. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 speaks to that change. “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
Our perspectives change as we get older, by what we do and what we see. We often learn more about the world and we often view things differently over time. Our family and friends may affect our perspective in a good way or a bad way, as can teachers, television, radio, officials and our religious leaders. Unfortunately, we also have Satan's influence to contend with. The question then becomes, who or what will we let change our perspectives in life so that we are allowing Godly change to be reflected in us?
My son and I must make adjustments in our physical lives each and every day. I must use stools to reach things and climb higher to see over some things. He must kneel to pick some things up and bend down to see or get to some places that are easily accessed by me. We have learned to respect each other’s perspectives but, at the same time, we are careful not to become too stuck on one way of doing things. There is often room for change and change can make the difference between being stuck and moving forward.
For more information on changing your perspective, ask for our free study guide: Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion