Seeing From a Different Perspective


Have you ever had a moment in your life when your perspective suddenly changed? I’m an ex-
fireman, and it happened to me when I was stretching to reach a fourth-floor window. The wind was strong, rain lashed my back, and, strictly speaking, my ladder was too far to the left. But I was a maverick, and there was no time to move it; I reckoned I could still grab the windowsill and swing myself across.

Suddenly, at full stretch and with fingertips barely reaching the wet sill, I looked at the concrete below and realised how my wife and our newly born son would be affected if I fell. In that moment, my whole perspective on life changed.

That situation made me see things, not from my familiar reckless viewpoint, but from that of a
young mother with a new baby to care for. From that point on, my approach to risk totally
changed.

What that situation taught me was that it can be valuable to view things from a different
standpoint. I also saw I could apply the same principle to studying my Bible: I realised it’s too
easy to see things only from our own perspective, which is so heavily influenced by our culture,
friends, and upbringing. What if we could see things from God’s point of view rather than our
own?

Take death, for instance—we see it as an inevitable fate of being human, but does God, who
created us, have a different view? Or how about the problem and difficulties life sometimes
brings—from a human standpoint, we might ask why God doesn’t give his followers a trouble-
free existence; but what’s God’s side of that argument?

If we can view topics such as those from God’s perspective, we can suddenly understand life in
a way that offers peace of mind. To do so, we must attempt to put aside our own prejudices and
background, and learn about God’s view by reading the Bible.

Taking a View on Death

For example, we all understand death is a fact, but do we ever see it from God’s perspective? God created man and woman and gave them a fantastic gift—enjoyment of an undamaged world. He wanted them to achieve great things and enjoy life. There was only one commandment—one tree with fruit not to be eaten—but they were free to enjoy everything else. Yet Adam spoiled the wonderful opportunity God had given them.

Although humanity disappointed God by their behaviour, God offered them another gift—a way His son could bring them forgiveness.

To understand the role Jesus plays, we need an appreciation of the original manner of worship
described in the Old Testament.  Adam’s disobedience had built a barrier between God and
mankind, and God appointed a High Priest to offer daily animal sacrifices to plead forgiveness
for the people’s wrongdoings (Hebrews 7v27). Because Jesus was the one man who never did
anything wrong, he was able to take a similar role, but his death was sufficient to gain
forgiveness forever and render the work of the original High Priests redundant (Hebrews
7v23-24).

By aligning ourselves with Jesus, we can receive the gift that God wants everyone to have—his
grace, mercy and forgiveness. And to prove we want to be like Jesus instead of Adam, God
asks one simple act—to be baptised, to be briefly buried in water in a similar way to Jesus being
in the grave for a short time. Jesus described that process to a man called Nicodemus as being
like being “born a second time” (John 3v3-5).

From God’s viewpoint, the current state of this world with its inherent death is a temporary
condition. He promises that, in the future, He will reverse the curses of Genesis that brought
hardship and death (Revelation 21v3-4).

Trying to see things from God’s standpoint therefore provides a very different viewpoint and allows us to put everything into its correct perspective. In the Bible, God shows us that He still intends to accomplish the perfect world that He wanted when He created the earth. At that point, death will finally be gone, and the earth will witness the kind of future God had wanted from the beginning.

And the promise of a glorious future is a gift He holds out to everyone who will listen to him.
But there is only one way for men and women to benefit from what is offered, and that is by
association with His son. As the apostle John wrote, “God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3v16-17).

So God’s perspective on the subject of death is: “Yes, you’re subject to the problem of sin and
death for now because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, but I’m offering a long-term
way of escape.”

No Guarantee of a Trouble-Free Life

Although God offers a perfect future on this earth that will be very different to life now, that
does not mean His followers will have a trouble-free life while waiting. From man’s perspective, that may seem perverse, and once again, we need to search the Bible to see the subject from God’s point of view to understand the situation.

Life today with its troubles and difficulties is a result of everyone’s inherent tendency to do
things contrary to God’s wishes, just like Adam did. And that applies to everyone—to the “best”
of people as well as the “worst”. However, if we view this from God’s perspective, the
problems of life get viewed differently.

God is not promising a life that’s free from problems, but we can live with a bright hope of
something better to come. Ultimately, when God’s kingdom is established and life is different,
His followers will be like jewels—many different shapes, sizes and colours; but together, they
form something beautiful (Malachi 3v16-17). If we can manage to apply that perspective to our
way of life, we can build a relationship with God, and He will therefore listen to us. The Bible
makes it clear that God knows our individual needs (Matthew 6v8).

The Impact on Knowing God

And to build that relationship and to learn how to see things from God’s perspective, we must
read the Bible. It teaches us God’s character, His long-term plan with creation, and what he
expects from us; it also tells of the gift He offers everyone who will follow His son. And
following Jesus means trying to live a new life, one that is different from Adam’s.

Jesus was once asked what was the most important of God’s commands, and he replied like
this:

 ‘“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’

So the scribe said to Him, ‘Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but he. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is more than all the
whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’

Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ (Mark 12:30-34 NKJV)

Demonstrating love is therefore key to a disciple’s life. To love someone, of-course, requires
getting to know them first, and to love God, we therefore need to get to know Him and His son.
The starting point for that is to read the Bible, and if we do that, we will start to see things from
God’s perspective rather than from humanity’s.

Understanding this world from God’s standpoint totally changes our outlook on life forever.



photo credits: Michael & Chris Richert; Sandi Baker; Robert Owen-Wahl (freeimages.com)

Our Latest Articles