Have you ever tried to go up or down a flight of stairs and misjudged how many steps there were? How about walking down the sidewalk when you step off a curb that you didn’t know was there? Hopefully those stumbles caused you no greater physical damage than embarrassment at the potential snickers from onlookers. But walking through this world without watching carefully where you’re going can be vastly more hazardous to your health, your spiritual health, than simply taking a careless misstep down the stairs. And one of the most needed tools in developing the wisdom and vision to take the right steps, seems to be sadly lacking in our reactionary society – perspective.
Table Talk Notes
A view or vista; A mental view or outlook: “It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present”(Fabian Linden). An understanding of how aspects of a subject relate to each other and to the whole: a perspective of history; a need to view the problem in the proper perspective. Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view: the perspective of the displaced homemaker. The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance: tried to keep my perspective throughout the crisis. The technique of representing three-dimensional objects and depth relationships on a two-dimensional surface.
Perspective has always been necessary for making responsible, wise decisions in a civil society.
Perspective and Wisdom come only from accurately processing experience. Humility involves knowing what you don’t know—this in itself develops maturity and perspective.
“Open-mouth-insert-foot” moments: jumping to conclusions before you have all the info (U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album cover showing drummer Larry Mullen Jr in a protective embrace of his 18-yr-old son, both shirtless)
Proverbs 1:7 | The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1 Cor 3:18-20 | Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
Compassion and mercy for others come from being able to see their perspective (empathy)
Prejudging is sizing someone up without knowing all their circumstances or background, presuming to know why someone is the way they are
The increasingly delayed (arrested?) maturation of our children’s minds leads to the loss of ability to view things in perspective. Indoctrination in public education (pre-K thru college) with only one viewpoint presented leads to narrowing minds incapable of critical thinking and independent thought Evolution and atheism lead to underlying, if unarticulated, hopelessness, as kids begin acting like the “animals”, created by random chance vs. human created in the image of God for a purpose.
- Ruled by appetites and emotions vs. rational thought
- Victim-mentality (not responsible for one’s actions), resulting in endless “blame-shifting”
- Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened?”
The Cult of Baseless Self-Esteem – creates dangerous demi-gods
Pride from falsely thinking you know everything.
Prov 1:22 | “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Prov 28: 26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Narcissism is demanding everyone see things your way, myopically never considering (or caring) about others.
Prov 18:2 | A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 18:13 | If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Denying others the same “rights” you demand yourself.
Proverbs 23:9 | Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.
- Continual attack from the loudest voices (media, BLM/Antifa, athletes, our own children)
- Can lead us to question reality (“Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”—Chico Marx, “Duck Soup”), rationalize our agreement (Stockholm Syndrome), or just cave to the more socially-acceptable views to win favor
- We think we’re in an ever-decreasing minority for what we believe to be true, thus developing bunker mentalities and taking refuge in like-minded groups (“holy huddles” and “echo chambers”), and becoming afraid to engage others with different ideas
Perspectives we need to understand (NOT necessarily agree with)
Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. Exodus 4: 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
John 15: 18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
“Life Commandments” and how they affect our perception. Our perception is our “reality”, no matter what evidence to the contrary.
Eph 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
- Seeing them as imperfect people… just like us
Eph 6:1-4 | Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- Early childhood: dependent, carefree or fearful, attention-seeking, blank slates
- Puberty & Adolescence: first loves, self-consciousness, independent/rebellious, all knowledge with little to no wisdom/experience
- Adulthood: self-reliance, autonomous, fellow adult vs child
- Employers/Employees: Eph 6: 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Gal 6:1-5 | Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Eph 4:1-6 | I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Understand, only God’s perspective is always perfect, always right.
Proverbs 2:6-9 | For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path…
Romans 11:33-36 | Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Job 38:1-3 | Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me…
Job 40:8 | Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
Isaiah 64:1-4 | Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you who acts for those who wait for him.