Getting a Grip on Perspective

by Susan Bowman

Getting a Grip on Perspective

From time to time, my husband Sam and I … uh … disagree. When we do, both of us become absorbed in explaining our perspective to the other. Both of us just want the other person to understand how we see the issue. I will be thinking: If I can just get Sam to see it from my point of view, all will be well. At the same time, he is thinking: If I can just get Susan to see it from my point of view, then she will understand me and everything will be ok. I’ll even go so far as to pray like this: Oh Gawd! Please, just show Sam how I feel about this! I know Sam prays that same prayer (even if he refuses to admit it).

We will even go a step further, because we are “mature” believers. We’ll ask God to show us the other person’s perspective. And God will show me how Sam sees it and He will show Sam how I see it, but those insights slip right through our fingers. We never do really grasp the other person’s perspective, and both of us continue to feel deeply misunderstood and frustrated. Nothing starts this tug-of-war faster than when we disagree about how to handle my son, Jay. As most of you know, Jay is intellectually challenged, so the situation can be complex.

The other day, while in the shower (of course it was in the shower, because the bathroom is really the Room of Revelation), I had come to that place where I had had enough. What Sam and I were doing wasn’t working. So I told the Lord that I no longer wanted Sam to see my perspective and I didn’t want to see Sam’s perspective. I wanted Sam and I to see His perspective. And the Lord floated into my mind Matthew 6:33 which reads: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. I had never applied the scripture that way before. But it made sense. Sam and I needed the Lord’s perspective on how best to handle situations with Jay as they arose.

We needed to be asking Him how we could help Him achieve His goals and stop wasting our time on earth trying to get the other one to understand our perspective. (I mean since it doesn’t work anyway.) Then, because God’s principle in Matthew 6:33 comes with the promise that all these things will be added to us, I think it is possible and Sam and I may actually learn to understand each other better.

Prayer: Lord God, Creator of all, I pray for these who are reading this. I ask that You will prompt them to ask for Your perspective in the areas where they need it. I ask that You help them surrender their right to be understood. Not so that they will not be understood, but so that they will achieve something of eternal significance and, by applying this principle, also be understood. I ask that You help them redirect their energies into receiving Your point of view and carrying out Your plan of action in order to achieve Your goals in the earth. In the lovely name of our dear Jesus, I pray. Amen.