July 13, 2016
Many relationship problems result from a lack of willingness to consider more than one view. It is important to define the absolutes and then allow space for agreeing to disagree on a lot of things. There is only one Creator God and one Way to become a member of His family – Jesus. These are absolutes. But the way we worship Him, our preferred style of music and the Bible translation that works best for us can allow for a variety of individual choices.
Our life journey affects the views we hold. If we grew up in a church family where God’s priorities were the focus and people lived in a loving community, we probably have a different view of church than someone who did not have this experience. If our dad was a loving man who treated our mother and siblings appropriately, we will have an easier time relating to a loving Heavenly Father.
I have been pondering the impact that our direction of travel has on our view. If we are going uphill on a mountain highway, the view is different than when we turn around and descend. Going up, we see trees, rocks and sky, but coming down, we view the vast expanse of the valley. We may still be surrounded by trees and rocks, but we enjoy a much broader perspective than when traveling in the other direction.
It is good to remember the advice that we should not criticize another person unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. While each of us is accountable for the choices we make, the reality is that most of those choices are determined by our life experience. Creator God designed that process. Eventually, we must own our values, or choose others, but most of who we are results from the influence of others.
Our amazing ability to communicate has a downside – we may respond before we consider what we have seen or heard and what motivated it. If our view is limited to “going uphill,” we may miss the importance of perspective that comes from traveling in the opposite direction. We will have limited insight that may cause us to draw inappropriate conclusions. It is important to consider more than one view.
Pastor Bill Ehmann