Perspective is the way you look at things. And the way you look at things can change the way you see them. If you wear green glasses, the world would appear to have a greenish tinge. Perspective also dramatically alters the way your life unfolds. A ship that sets out from Europe to the west can either reach North or South America depending on a small change in the degree of the direction of the ship. It cannot be overemphasized that the right perspective is essential to nail the truth and to live a life of integrity and meaning. Paul’s words in Titus 1:15 talks of perspective,
‘To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact both their minds and consciences are corrupted.’
To accurately interpret this verse, you need to go beyond this verse to rest of Scripture. A contrast is drawn between the pure and the corrupted. The ‘pure’ in Biblical terms is not a person who follows a set of rules, because you cannot ever become a perfect person. No matter how many rules you follow, you will always fall short of the perfection of God. The Pharisaic Jews of Jesus’ times kept the most laws but earned the harshest criticism from Jesus, because all they accomplished with their rule keeping was to foster hypocrisy and pride.
The ‘pure’ is a person who is declared righteous by God, and this happens only when a man comes to a realization of his sinfulness and utter inadequacy before God. He turns to God in repentance and finds that only with the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, is there forgiveness. With forgiveness comes reconciliation with God, paving the way for God to come and dwell within him in the form of the Holy Spirit. If God dwells within you, you are declared ‘pure’ or ‘righteous’ in Biblical terms. In a progressive fashion thereafter, you start leading a more pure and righteous life. The corrupted on the other hand, is one who refuses to believe and acknowledge Jesus as the Savior, thereby preventing God from coming to dwell within him.
The contrast between the two cannot be starker. The pure is able to look at the world around him and sees the hand of God in all things including adversity. His life is filled with confidence, hope and meaning because God within him naturally connects to the omnipresent and omniscient God who fills all things in all ways. The corrupted can make no such connection and sees the same situations in an entirely different and negative manner. Paul further says that a person who has lost connection with God finds both his mind and conscience corrupted. A corrupted mind will always fall short of its potential and a corrupted conscience can longer be relied upon.
Much like you can decide to wear green glasses or decide the direction in which the ship will sail, you can decide to have a perspective that is pure or corrupted. And so when consequences do follow our decisions, we need to look no farther than our own decisions to grasp the reality we create for ourselves.
- THE PRUDENT MAN
- JUSTICE DENIED