Perspective is as unique as the eyes seeing any given situation. I know this, yet it still catches me off guard when it happens. It seems like the only time we try to understand someone else’s perspective is when we’re not involved in any way. For example, when we hear someone’s story about how bad a disagreement was, we can see it from that persons point of view. It is always interesting to see how differently the other person experienced the same disagreement. Discord enters when both participants choose stubbornness instead of bending and the desire to be vindicated is more of a concern than peace.
This gets even more difficult when the desire for compassion and peace outweighs the desire to be vindicated, but you still have to correct the other persons point of view. Years ago, I was confrontational to a fault. There was actually a conflict that I was involved in that was the catalyst to 3 high schools walking out of school to meet up at a park and have an all-out brawl. Not a proud moment in my history! My point is, I would fight to fight, and I fought to win. I had no remorse, no compassion and no tolerance for losing. I was driven by fear, and my perspective of the world was that I was a victim, and that mentality poured out in every aspect of my life.
When I see others now, with their stance ready for a fight, I recognize it for what it is. With several different interactions today, I saw the defenses go up in others even if there wasn’t a cause. That type of perspective is filtered through the negative circumstances of past events, and even the most sincere of intentions becomes distorted.
I pray that I become more aware of my own tainted sight, and more compassionate when others are experiencing that. A reaction that is quick to judge will only add one more layer of justification to someone who is already struggling to see.
On a different note, I received a humbling reminder about what it means to serve. Scott and I have grown accustomed to serving others, and don’t want anything in return. It’s hard to accept help, and it’s even harder to admit that you need it; whether it be in your marriage, in your job, in your home. I believe one of the many lessons I am learning is how to be on the receiving end of service. It’s a different perspective, and it’s one that I can’t forget.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” – Galatians 5:13-15