If you’ve ever listened to two people describe the same thing — like a movie, an event, a sermon, or a book — you’ve seen the difference a person’s perspective can make. Our perspective is more than a point-of-view, it’s how we perceive and process the world around us.
I can choose to grumble as I clean my house or pick up after my people, or I can see these as opportunities to serve my family. One perspective brings bitterness and dissatisfaction, the other brings contentment.
Because we see the world from our own, individual points of view, our perspectives are unique. Sometimes sharing that perspective is a gift to someone who doesn’t see what you see.
A friend of mine kept a foster child in her home for 14 months; she and her family loved this precious little boy as one of their own. Recently and unexpectedly, the state returned him to his parents, which may not be the best situation for him. My friend not only aches for the child but worries about him too, especially since his parents moved to a distant part of the state and cut off communication both with her and their local family members.
My friend has no choice but to move on with her life, but she feels the loss. It hurts to see the sadness in her eyes. But of all the friends who have tried to comfort her, it was a simple word from my 16-year-old son that made a difference. Here’s what my friend posted on Clayton’s Facebook wall last month on his birthday:
2 weeks ago, after the Toddler left, many of you reached out in prayer, support and encouragement. It still means the world to me. One post in particular stuck out to me and was actually a game changer for me in my grieving. It said, “Aw . . . I love [foster son]. I hope and pray his parents are amazing!”
And it was right then, that I prayed fervently for them to be amazing. I pray that word every day. Amazing.
Happy 16th birthday, Clayton Camp. You are wise beyond your years and a blessing to know.
Sometimes I hesitate to share my heart, and perhaps you do too. But maybe our simple words can positively shift the perspective of a friend. Even one word can make a difference. That one word — amazing — gave direction and focus to my friend’s prayers.
It gave her hope.
A few years ago when our house was for sale, I realized my prayers were only about us: Please let our house sell quickly so that we can buy the house we want to purchase. It was when I began to pray for our buyers that my attitude changed: Lord, our home will be a blessing and a home to some family who is searching for a house. Please bring those people to us.
That shift in perspective changed my thinking and released a weight from my shoulders. I began to pray earnestly for the family who would live in our house, and when they arrived, we all realized it immediately. There were things about our neighborhood and home that resonated with them and reflected their prayers also.
It was a spiritually powerful moment with people we’d never met. We turned down a higher offer because we felt so strongly that these were the people meant to live in our home.
If our perspectives have the power to shape our attitudes, then there will be times we need to ask ourselves: Is my perspective biblical?
Are there areas in your life where your perspective needs to change?
Do you know of a situation where sharing your perspective could help a friend?