Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's Your Perspective?

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known… 1 Corinthians 13:12
Perspective is everything.  But exactly what is perspective?  There are many definitions for the word perspective in the dictionary.   One definition defines perspective as: The state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: i.e. “You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.”   That is exactly what perspective is, our IDEA of something based on how we see it.  

THE YIPOUNOU PEOPLE MAKE STONE FACES. But the faces look grotesque. The nose is too big and long; the mouth-too small. What is the point making such figures? Lay the stone face on a table. Look at it from table-top level. From that point-of-view it looks almost human. It is amazingly lifelike. You see, the Yipounou people make them to be looked at in that manner. You have to have the right perspective in order to appreciate them. 

One man puts out a pair of warning signs. Another hangs a red flag on the signs. Two others prepare the equipment. In a few minutes all four are busy painting a "stop" sign at the intersection. It is one of those stretched-out signs painted directly on the concrete. A child asks, "Why are the letters so skinny? I can hardly read them." The foreman explains that the letters were painted for the benefit of the approaching motorist-to him they appear well-proportioned. 

You must look at highway signs, native statues, man, and God with the right perspective.  Young people often fail to understand the "don'ts" laid down by their parents or authority.  But education and experience develop a higher degree of moral and logical perspective.  Along the way, they begin to understand the value in the rules and warnings.  This is what we call “wisdom.”  Until we grow to this understanding, the rules are there to protect us.

Isn’t that the way it is with God’s laws?  While they cannot make us right with God they certainly provide the best guide for living.  Paul spoke of the role of the law in Galatians 3.  
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law,
being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ,
so that we may be justified by faith. Galatians 3:23-24

As spiritual children, we did not possess the wisdom necessary to choose the right way.  It was the law which provided our direction until our “perception” of right and wrong was properly formed.  The “tutor” was provided until the child matured.  There are many whose lives have not benefited fully from the salvation they received because of their failure to mature.  To some degree, we all still need the warning signs to guide us.  We are all still growing in wisdom and our proper perception of life, relationships and God.  Paul spoke of this in Ephesians 4.

...until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, Ephesians 4:13-15

Jesus came to fulfill the law not to abolish it.  He is the perfect example of a life controlled by the Spirit and able to discern and obey God’s will.  We, however, still struggle with our own worldly perceptions and values against the Spirit.  Therefore, we can say with David..

O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97
Loving God,
Thank you for protecting us by giving us your Word and your ways.  Keep us close to hear your direction and grow us in the wisdom of your Word.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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