Our perspective in life can make all the difference. It can determine our opinions, our emotions, our mindset, and even our actions at times. I think if we are to have pure motives and intentions, we have to also have the right perspective. This perspective (I think) should be one bigger than ourselves. It should drive us to do things that are far beyond our personal interest or feelings. This Kingdom Perspective should be “the reason we do what we do”.
Last weekend my old roommate from college, James, came down to visit my family and I. It had been a year since I had seen him, and almost three years since we were at school together. James has always been very special to us. You see James was one of the “Lost Boys” from Sudan. He came to America to get away from the fighting in his country and landed in Atlanta, where he would eventually end up at ACC (Atlanta Christian College) in a dorm room right next to mine. I saw this guy and could not help but have compassion on him, much like as described in Matthew 9:36. I didn’t really understand why this feeling was so instant. The only thing I knew is that God had given me the right perspective to see James as He did.
I spent the next two years getting to know James. I helped him understand the way we do things here, while he taught me the fascinating things from his culture back home. Looking back now, I would label this time as trading perspectives. I see now just how valuable this time was for this idea of Kingdom Perspective.
Back to this weekend visit…
My wife and I took James out to Longhorn for dinner on the first night he was here. In my mind this was a celebration of sorts because James had now graduated and was heading back to Sudan for a three month visit. This is something that he spoke of the entire time we were at ACC. He saw how “great” we had it here and wanted this for his family as well. At the time, this was the extent of it. As we sat down to eat, the waitress asked if we wanted an appetizer, to which James responded: “What is that?” I then explained to him that it was food that we ate before our meal. I then proceeded to help James order prime rib, as I figured he would like such a manly meal. James barely ate half his “american-sized” portion. I didn’t really think anything else of it until that night…
When we got back to our house we sat on the front porch and started to chat about things of the past, present, and future. As we were talking about our experience at Longhorn, James was saying that the meal he had would have fed his whole family back home. He then went on to say that on a good day, his people only ate once, and that $5.00 (the value of the appetizer) would feed an entire family for a week. He said that even given these circumstances, people were on their face before God constantly praising Him for providing for their needs. Talk about perspective! This really broke my heart, and once again gave me a better perspective of my faith.
Lastly, James said that his trip to Africa was not only to visit, but to also check out the conditions of the area. He said that he wants me to pray about going back with him at a later date to witness to his people. This took me by complete surprise! If I’m honest, I have never before truly considered any sort of foreign missions. I still don’t know if I will go, but regardless of my decision I know that this is something far greater than myself. I know that going would again change my perspective to more fit that of the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) . This Kingdom Perspective has totally changed the way I view everything in life, and it is all because I allowed God to open my eyes to see him. My prayer is that you too can gain this ever-changing Kingdom Perspective today!
What are you allowing to shape your perspective?
What are the things that drive your decisions, actions, attitudes, emotions?
Are you living for a cause greater than yourself?
What is one action step you could take to gain more of a Kingdom Perspective today?