PDF of Study Guide available HERE
Our perspective is the lens through which we view and interpret the world around us. Perspective has many names such as worldview, core beliefs, attitude, mindset etc. and they are often formed by what we are taught, what we believe, and from what we have experienced. This lens in turn predicts how we will think, how we behave, what our emotions are and how our body responds.
The primary purpose of Biblical scripture is focused on defining and developing that lens. It defines who we are, how we relate to God and others, how we think, our emotions (and control of them), and what are the natural consequences or outcomes if we choose a different lens.
We can default to the patterns and definitions we have learned since being born into this world (and they are default patterns) or we can challenge ourselves to become more aware of our current lens and develop better ways of viewing this world.
What is Perspective?
- The way individuals see the world. It comes from their personal point of view and is shaped by life experiences, values, their current state of mind, and the assumptions they bring into a situation. -Online Dictionary
- The capacity to view things in their true relationship or relative importance -Miriam Webster
How we view something provides either light/darkness, truth/falsehood, right/wrong directions:
Prov 14:12 (NIV) There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
Mat 6-22-23 (NLT) Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
Every issue/problem you face in life will be viewed through our lens and that will determine the course of our choices and life.
Our perspective has been challenged from the beginning:
In the Garden of Eden God provided every necessary ingredient for man to live a full, happy, and productive life, even the possibility of choice. All Satan did was change Adam/Eve’s perspective.
Gen 3:3-5 (NIV) “but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said “You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.” “You will not surely die,” the serpent told her. For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Israel: The story of Israel’s exit from Egypt is about the struggle to change 300 years of perspective (Rules and Rulers) and ended in 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Christ: Jesus’ message during his journey on earth was all about changing Israel’s view point which they had resisted throughout their history. The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5 – 6) is all about challenging the perspective/viewpoint of the Israelites. Jesus commented (Mt 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) (NLT) “You have heard the law that says….But I say”, He was challenging their perspective.
Rules & Rulers to Relationship: God’s word to us his children are not a list of do’s/don’t’s, it is an owner’s manual describing how to get long life and proper use of His creation, it is an invitation to a relationship of privileges and responsibilities and provides a blueprint for all other relationships, it is a love letter from an unfathomable God in words and actions we can understand.
Mat 11:28-29 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Discussion: Using the chart above and scriptures, work through some of the following questions:
- Have you taken the time to really think about what your perspective/core beliefs are?
- Can you remember a recent situation where you simply reacted from your perspective that made you take pause and wonder “why did I say/do that”?
- How does your relationship with Christ affect your perspective/worldview?
- If you looked at scriptures as an owner’s manual, how would that change your thoughts/beliefs about God’s word?
- What are your thoughts/feelings about Mat 6:22-23?
- What ways can you can incorporate your relationship w/Christ into your core beliefs?