Perspective can be a beast, can't it? What's interesting is that the word 'perspective' has multiple meanings. It can be both our point of view or the art of drawing objects on a solid plane to give the correct impression of their height, depth and width. Either way - perspective is our brain's attempt to conclude truth. It's how we try to process so that we can come to a conclusion. The problem is that, sometimes, our perspective is wrong. Sometimes our perspective is skewed by the way we were raised, the people who have hurt or manipulated us, and our tendencies towards selfish thoughts and behaviours.
When we rely on our perspective to be the absolute truth something happens: we find ourselves in a battle for control. We hear other people's perspectives - that don't line up with our own - and we start pushing for their understanding to conform to ours. And where is the freedom in that? Who receives life from that? No one. Not them and not us. We all end up in a battle for the greatest truth. And, if we aren't rooted in the truth that transcends our perspective, we will chase our own flimsy truth for a long, long time.
Paul says that the hard work that leads to living a holy life is simply this: get along with each other. Yep. It's hard work, friends. It's hard to get along with people who are living from a completely opposite perspective. It's hard to reconcile our own way, our own wounds, our own defenses, our own understanding to someone else's. It's hard to relinquish control and allow other people to be different people. It's hard to love, and to be at peace, with people we don't understand.
It seems like the nature of humanity is to reject other humans. Everywhere we turn people are fighting for control, pushing for their own perspectives to be declared the ultimate truth. People are manipulating and slandering and throwing up barriers everywhere they can; drawing lines and throwing up their own flags, screaming, "THIS is the truest of truths!"
Those of us who love and follow Jesus should be sad. Our hearts should break. The truest of truths has nothing to do with perspective or interpretation. The truest of truths is that Jesus was driven by love, held by love and is preparing a restored earth for his BRIDE, whom he LOVES. The truest of truths is that the rising cry of his Bride, his church, his people has not a tinge of judgment or fear. We who love him, who have followed him to the cross, can only absorb the cry of the King we have surrendered to - "Forgive them. They don't know what they're doing." If ever we are raising a sword to wound another - he'll only reach out to heal them. He'll only surrender his life again, and again, and again. He will step outside of time and space - because he's God and nothing holds him. He'll draw the perspectives of every human being to him. He'll see that our own point of view has wounded another. He'll step over the lines we've drawn and ask us to surrender our need to be right, or to be in control. Because that's what love does.
And love is the only perspective of the Bride of Christ.
God is ultimately the reconciler of human hearts, healing and restoring what the consequences of sin and separation have done to us all. Because of his great plan to revive us, and the mercy he has poured out on us, love is the truest of truths.
If we don't believe that compassionate love can draw the hearts of lost and broken people to the Kingdom of God, then we don't believe that what Jesus did on the cross was enough. Why on earth would we need to add to his act of salvation with a single rule, or judgment, or power play? Whose kingdom would we be seeking to build by building on anything other than love?
So let's stop building our own kingdoms on our own perspectives. Let's stop trying to create an accurate understanding of our own broken points of view. We can't shoulder a Kingdom, friends. And we don't need to add to what defines the Kingdom of God. Remember when you were in Sunday School and you sang that song: 'they will know us by our love'?
That is the truest of truths.
The hardest thing we will ever do is learn to love well - to get along with each other.
But Paul said that a perspective of love will lead to a holy life - a free and spacious life. And that is the universal calling for every single person who has committed their lives and thoughts and actions and words to the King who was bolstered by love, even as he was dragged away by hate and darkness. Because love conquers. Love is not a weak thing that breaks down the power of truth. Love IS truth. Love is stronger than perspective. Love is deeper than any line we could ever draw in the sand of our lives. Love says that all are longed for and none are rejected. Love paves a way for even the most broken and abrasive people to enter into mercy. Lucky for us - no one's perspective, not even ours, can determine what love does. The only thing we get to decide is whether or not we participate in the great sweeping work of Love that conquered death.