Our Sunday message series, Bold Moves, is laying the groundwork for us to take the next step for God. This week’s message features the power of broadening our perspective.
Most of us have developed comfortable habits, routines, and circles of friends. As enriching as these may be, we sometimes are prevented from moving forward by the failure to see more broadly. Here are three ways to step out of the predictable patterns that may be holding us back.
1. Cultivate Unexpected Relationships.
Cornelius was a Roman centurion who received a vision from an angel telling him to send men to meet Peter, one of the apostles living in a town called Joppa. Peter received a similar vision and agreed to accompany the men back to Cornelius’ home, where Peter exclaimed: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.” Once unthinkable to associate with people who were not Jewish, Peter now realizes that “in every nation whoever fears [God] and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”
Most of us tend to associate with people who are similar to us. If you want to broaden your perspective, seek out new relationships with those outside of your comfort zone. People of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and even belief systems can contribute to positive growth in our thinking and help us to discern the new horizons to which God is leading us.
2. Try To See As God Sees.
“Whoever is without love does not know God,” Saint John says in the second reading. Many times our perspectives are limited because we prematurely foreclose the option to love. Instead of loving as God loves, we unduly narrow the field of our love. “God sees not as man sees,” the Bible says, “for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). While God does not condone or accept every human endeavor, the Creator nevertheless made beautiful things out of us. To widen your outlook, try to see the world as God sees it, especially the other human beings around you.
3. Go Out On A Limb For God.
At his farewell dinner, Jesus told his disciples that he no longer called them “slaves” but “friends” because he had chosen them, not the other way around. When we consider our lives from this perspective, entirely new vistas open up for us. If Christ has chosen us, then our lives do not belong to us. Jesus has chosen us to “bear fruit” by loving others through the rather uncomfortable enterprise of mission and ministry. To broaden your horizons, try something new. Join one of our small groups or outreach ministries. Explore our website for more information.
After all, if the range of your vision remains small, you won’t be able to see all the bold moves you could make.
Father Roger Gustafson