Sunday, August 7

Perspective is Everything

I used to be a court reporter, and I got pretty good at pegging people and whether they were telling the truth or not. But even after years of listening to trials, I was still impressed at how a skillful attorney could suck me onto his side before I heard the cross-examination. I remember the case where a federal prison inmate was suing because he had to be taken to the emergency room for a severe head injury inflicted by a prison guard. Only on cross-examination did it come out that he was stabbing the prison guard at the time he received the head injury! Instantaneously, my perspective shifted.

So much of life is perspective. I have been in the position of seeing an ongoing conflict between some people, and I have a fair amount of information on both sides. Each side is right on some things, and each side is wrong on other things. Neither has attempted to share their perspective with the other or sought to bring reconciliation, so misunderstandings abound and hurt feelings and emotions rule instead of the love of Christ (both sides involve Christians). Nobody is uncivil (except behind the other's backs), but neither is there unity or true love and fellowship.

It has caused me to reevaluate a couple of tense relationships that I have. Perhaps I am not seeking to understand the other person's perspective, and/or maybe I am blinded by my own hurt feelings or need to be "right." So I have been asking the Lord to give me His perspective on these relationships and to give me direction on what action to take. Do I need to just change my heart toward them, do I need to let love cover a multitude of sins, or maybe I have to do the harder thing, go to them and seek reconciliation and try to understand their perspective. I want to know I've done everything in my power to bring reconciliation. "Lord, change me into your image."

"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

"The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him." Proverbs 18:17

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