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The word perspective comes the Latin word “perspectus” meaning “clearly perceived.” It’s been defined as a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance; as the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see. [1]  

Perspective can mean looking more carefully or thoroughly at a person, structure, event, or situation (and more) – to step outside of our own subjective viewpoint and see something or someone more objectively.  Getting perspective in relationships is crucial, being willing to try and see from someone else’s viewpoint or “stand in their shoes” is key.  Sometimes all it takes to get out of a slump or rut is a change in perspective.

It’s a choice, this all-important perspective, to not just look but see, to allow more information and defining insight to shape our view.  If I take the time to gain perspective, I see that someone who hurt me is actually feeling very hurt and therefore lashing out.  That perspective helps me to stop feeling sorry for myself and have compassion, to show grace instead of hold a grudge.

Perspective can be a gift, given by someone who can share with me viewpoints I’ve never considered or some I’ve forgotten.  It helped me see a new friend in a new light, to realize how he might have extra need of friends, of belonging in a place where he is clearly the minority and is far from home.  He shared that most of us here have people or our own race to hang out with, have people who speak our native language to talk with, have the food we’re most accustomed to available to us, and forget that someone from another place may not have those things.  That can all be easily taken for granted.

Perspective helps us to see, if we allow God to show us, that our stunted, defective, incomplete view of who we are is not the whole story.  I believe God will give us, if we ask Him and open our hearts and eyes, bits of His perspective of our souls, our worth, our potential, our future.  We are so short-sighted and our view one-sided.  We need perspective.

God has been prodding me all week, reminding me of these things.  It is not about me. If it is I’m missing so much, like sitting inside on one side of a door that would let me out into wide, spacious, fresh air freedom and not taking the initiative to open that door.

He has to give it to me, and I dearly want it…precious perspective.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”  Dr. Wayne Dyer

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.  Colossians 3:1-2 The Message

Before you judge someone, walk a mile in his shoes.

[1] Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012