Summary: A Matter of Perspective (Rom. 14:5) Levels of perspective that we need to speak to by the power of the Spirit and the Word of God.
A Matter of Perspective (Rom. 14:5) Levels of perspective that we need to speak to by the power of the Spirit and the Word of God.
"One man considers one day more sacred than another. Another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." (Rom. 14:5)
It is difficult for some Christians to accept the fact that everyone develops their own world-view based on their unique set of experiences, background, and education. Cultures are continually being refined to better adapt to their situational challenges. A world-view helps each person to know their identity, what one is to do, and how one should relate to: God, the supernatural, and people.
Illustration:An airline pilot flying over the southeastern U.S. called the local tower and said, "We are passing over at 35,000--give us a time check." The tower said, "What airline are you?" "What difference does it make? I just want the time." replied the pilot. The tower responded, "Oh, it makes a lot of difference. If you are TransWorld Airline or Pan Am, it is 1600. If you are United or Delta, it is 4 o’clock. If you are Southern Airways, the little hand is on the 4 and the big hand is on the 12. If you are Skyway Airlines--it’s Thursday."
Peter Dieson, The Priority of Knowing God, p.91.
Basic communication theory teaches us that in order to relate to people, we have to know something about how their world-views are shaped, developed and influenced. Compare and contrast the following ways in which some people develop a world-view differently from the reactionary religious right. The following is a model that can be used to help us appreciate the basic parts of peoples’ perspectives:
LEVELS OF PERSPECTIVES
1. What is Real? - This core element of a person’s perspective is made up of one’s basic assumptions about reality, essential allegiances, and constant facts that are assumed to be true without having to explain it to another. Some may approach life from an ultra conservative set of assumptions.
These assumptions affect the way one looks at everything. The conservative assumes that it is good to preserve cherished historical values, norms, and principles. Accompanying this presupposition is the mind-set that is adverse to changing one’s views, tastes, or perspectives or to even moderate them. He may be skeptical of liberals, progressives or change agents. He resists attempts to refine ideas and make improvements in a system. In order to effect a change of perspective one needs to appeal to one’s root assumptions of reality.
Illustration: For example, a Christian will assume that God is sovereign, omniscient, and omnipotent. Therefore, most believers will assume that God has the right to do what He wants to as the Psalmist writes, "Our God is in the heavens, He does whatever He pleases." This fact implies that God has the right to alter our plans according to His divine will. This helps everyone surrender rights, expectations and priorities to the Lord.
2. What is True? - By what standard does a person use to determine whether something is factual. When a person is faced with a difficult decision one will know an individual’s objectively and subjectively held truths by their actions, attitudes, and words. If a person really believes the Bible is true they will change their mind, will and attitudes to reflect its teaching.
Truth, to a person, is not just what they say, but what they consistently incorporate into the mental, physical, social, emotional, financial, and spiritual dimensions of their life. Truth to one person may be merely a reflection of their traditions, culture or what one’s parents held to be true. To grow in truth one must not only study the scriptures, but obey it. Truth is best taught individually by the Holy Spirit.
3. What do You Believe? - When life becomes difficult, belief is made visible by what and whom an individual puts their trust in. If a person really trusts in Jesus Christ, that individual will manifest the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These attitudes reveal an abiding attitude of security in the Lord for His greater wisdom and strength.
Romans 4:20,21 gives us four levels for increasing one’s faith.
1). Sensory faith - A new believer relies on what his senses tell him to be reliable. There is a need for a mentor to give examples in living by faith.
2).Communicative faith - When a person starts to learn the language of the Bible, one’s faith develops.
3). Concrete and Experiential Faith - One can see the cause and effect relationship between sowing and reaping
4). Principled Faith - Taking action steps of obedience regardless of one’s feelings.
4. What do You Value? - One recognizes a person’s values by observing their priorities with their time, talents and resources. Every person and culture has certain things that they consider most important - this is a reflection of values. If one values tasks more than relationships it will be reflected by how a person allocates their time. By looking at how we spend our money it is a guide to where our most important values lie.