You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.
(John 8:15-16 NIV)
Perspective is determined by our beliefs, experiences, and life choices. Sometimes we can never see things from another’s perspective because of our preconceptions.
Someone once said I have my mind made up, don’t confuse with the facts. We all judge by human standards and at least, in part, imperfectly. Admitting this to be true is the first step in seeing things from others perspective.
The basis of all truth is God’s Word, yet good people do sometimes disagree about the interpretation of various things stated in the Bible. Someone once said, “In the Bible, the main things are the plain things, and the plain things are the main things.” Certain truths in the Bible can never be compromised, such as the means of our salvation and the nature and the character of God. Other biblical issues have been discussed for centuries, such as the sovereignty of God and free will of man. You can make a biblical case for both of these seemly contradictory theological issues. Maybe, what God has not revealed plainly, we should not try to define completely.
Augustine taught that we must have unity in the essentials of our faith. You cannot change the plain things. In the non-essentials, we can have the diversity of thought, but, according to Augustine, the freedom to disagree only works if you have love in all things.
In the eighteenth century, two famous preachers, George Whitfield, a Calvinist, and John Wesley, an Arminian, had great debates about free grace and divine election. Each of them argued their theological point vigorously. After Whitfield’s death, a woman asked Wesley if he thought he would see Whitfield in heaven. After a long pause, Wesley said, “No, madam. Do not misunderstand me, madam; George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him.” Christian unity is not about the meeting of the minds, but that of our hearts. Only then will be able to see things from another’s perceptive.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing