Monday, July 6, 2015

Perspective is Important

The other day we hosted a group of inner city children in our home. It was part of a program our son helps lead that gives children from struggling situations opportunities to get out of the city and experience new things. We live in what my wife and I consider a “typical” home. It is a condominium in a complex of 150 similar condos. The children loved it and one of the boys kept talking about how nice it was. At one point he asked my wife “Did this home cost you a million dollars?” My wife assured him it was nowhere near that expensive. But from his perspective, it looked like a millionaire’s home.

Just days later my wife and I flew to San Francisco, California, where I was to teach a class to doctoral students for a week. We stayed on a college campus in Mill Valley, an upscale community just north of the city.  The college is surrounded by multi-million dollars home. As I walked past them looking at the amazing architecture and fancy landscaping, I felt like that inner city boy who had visited our only days before. To me, these homes just looked so amazing that I could not imagine who could ever afford to live in them. From my perspective, the people who live in those homes must have been really rich. Imagine my surprise when someone told me later that week the “really rich” people lived on the other side of hill. I never made it over to see what those homes looked like, but it is hard to imagine them being even fancier than the ones I was seeing.

As I reflected on these experiences, it occurs to me that how you view such things depends on your perspective. If you are an inner city child living in a small government subsidized apartment in a disadvantaged neighborhood, a typical condo in a middle class complex looks rich. If you live in a middle class condo, “typical” homes in Mill Valley, California, look like mansions. And to the people living in those mansions, over the hill is where the “rich” people live. It’s all perspective.

As a Christian, I wonder how often my perspective is inaccurate because I have based it on my own circumstances instead of the truth of God’s Word. Is it possible that we have allowed our possessions and our personal situation to make us view the world in incorrect ways? We need some standard outside of our own perspective to give us clarity in our lives. Lord, help our perspectives reflect Yours!

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:

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