A quick Google search of the word “perspective” nets a whole host of interesting quotes and motivational signage. Maybe there really is something to the popular aphorism: “Perspective is everything!”
If you apply this sentiment to passages in the Bible, God’s Word really opens up with new and interesting meaning. Take Psalm 100, for example. Listen carefully as I read it while placing extra emphasis on the attributions referring to God:
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before HIM with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is HE who made us, and we are HIS];
we are HIS people, the sheep of HIS pasture.
4 Enter HIS gates with thanksgiving
and HIS courts with praise;
give thanks to HIM and praise HIS name.
5 For the Lord is good and HIS love endures forever;
HIS faithfulness continues through all generations.
Did your perspective change like mine did? Everything is the Lord’s. He is the object of our joyful songs. He made us—we are not our own. He is our shepherd, our leader. He owns the gates and the courts through which we must enter to give him our thanks and praise. He alone is good and his love never fails. He is forever faithful. In short, it’s all His! So are you prepared to give all of you to Him?
I thought I was, but then something happened that changed my perspective. Several years ago, I attended a week-long Christ In Youth conference with our church youth group. During one of the lesson times, the leader instructed everyone to break-up into small groups—ideally made-up of folks you didn’t already know. After several confusing minutes, groups formed, and we launched into the lesson. During a break, I struck-up a conversation with the other adult leader in my group. Like me, he was just another parent volunteer—not a professional minister. I asked if he was enjoying the conference so far, and his response is something I’ll never forget. In essence, he said he’s been attending this same conference for several years and always enjoyed the experience. “I look at it as a form of offering,” he told me. “My wife and I wanted to give more than just our money as an offering to God, so we starting tithing our vacation time. Every year we set aside ten percent of our paid time off from our jobs to be here or at some similar event.”
Wow! Talk about conviction! Other than knowing he was a fellow believer, this total stranger caused me to think differently about giving by showing me a different perspective—reminding me of another popular saying: Time is money!
Now, I’m not here to tell you to replace your regular monetary giving with vacation time. (If I did, this would probably be my last time at the podium!) But when you consider the eternal perspective God represents, it seems clear that He wants so much more than just our money.