Picture This – You Stepping Outside Yourself

Copyright 2006 Stan Lewis

As a Christian life and leadership coach, part of my job is to try to get people to see things from a different perspective. That is to step outside of themselves and attempt to view their world differently. And to help them move towards seeing truth for what it really is, rather than some crude device shaped by closed minds and/or fear.

Some see only themselves. Others, although they may not realize it, behave as if the world literally revolves around them – not the sun. This is because many individuals fervently hold to the false belief that everything they do is right. And if something they did was wrong, it was done for the right reason. This in their minds makes everything they did alright. This universal belief that every way of a man is right in his own eyes is a poor foundation for determining what is true or not true, right or wrong, or good or bad. The basis for this is simple. We are not perfect and very capable of making mistakes as human beings. If we are flawed or imperfect, then our perspective can likewise be flawed or imperfect. Any truth measured against any of us will be lacking in accuracy. Only God is perfect and his written word is filled with actual truth. God’s word is the only measuring stick that all truth should be measured against and not our self.

The world does not revolve around anyone of us and we should never act as if it does. We can only draw strength to overcome our problems and issues by stepping outside of ourselves and taking others/other things into account. In Matthew 6:25-30, Jesus talks of birds and lilies. He challenges us to look at the birds of the air and think about how they are all fed each and every day. Jesus also challenges us to see the lilies of the field and how beauty clothes them. By taking a look outside of ourselves at the world we live in, we can see how the simplest things around us are taken care of by an awesome God. Once we do that, we can step back inside ourselves with a new perspective. A perspective which tells us that if God will take care of birds and lilies, how much more he will do for us? Know this; God himself has claimed that we, including you and me, are the greatest of his creations.

There are those of us who have tunnel vision and can only see that directly in front of us. Because of this, all of their actions are based upon what they see directly in front of them and how it will affect them. No thought is given to that which lies out side their self-limited scope of vision, even though it dwarfs their narrow view point. They become use to the narrowness and the very thought that something exist outside of their sight – at best frightens them and at worst it threatens their very existence. Those of this frame of mind can not or will not think of doing anything for anyone else that falls outside their narrowed vision. Due to their tapered focus, the trivial things which fall into their narrow vision are magnified in their lives. So much so, that the pain and despair ravaging others all around them is beyond them. Their thoughts are bent upon trivial things/matters, which become exaggerated and take on the illusion of pending doom in their lives.

Undoubtedly, we are to strive to be Christ like. We are also to grow and develop ourselves throughout our lives. And yes, that does mean that we do have a responsibility to look to ourselves from time to time and ensure that we are being Christ like, that we are growing and that we are developing. However, it is vital to our being Christ like, our growth and our development in life, that we broaden our perspective by stepping outside ourselves by doing the following:

• We need to step outside ourselves to view things through God’s word and from that word gather truth unto ourselves, because truth can not reliably come from ourselves and our inward perspective.

• We need to step outside ourselves to reject the universal view that a man is right in his own eyes, but embrace the fact that God’s word is the measuring stick that all truth should be measured against.

• We need to step outside ourselves to view the simple and marvelous wonders God takes care of each and everyday, so that we can better appreciate what he does for us.

• And finally, we need to step outside ourselves to cast off our blinders and take in the enormity of things around us, so we can apply the golden rule of Matthew 7:12 in terms of doing good for others, so that likewise; one day we can graciously allow others to do good things for us.

I hope each of us understands the need to see things from a different perspective. And why it is necessary to step outside of ourselves in an attempt to view our world differently from God’s view point and not our own viewpoint. By seeing God’s truth – the only real truth – for what it really is, we can lay down our self-centered truth and take up God’s truth.