Have you ever noticed how often we force things? We live beyond our means, work to hard, play to hard, sleep to much, get pushy with people, and even convince ourselves that it’s our job to fix the world. We’ve forced our perspective and neglected to ask what Jesus’ perspective is on the subject. What is forced perspective? Forced perspective is a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger, or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking, and architecture.
Here are some examples:
The Spiritual Application of Forced Perspective
We struggle with believing God’s perspective so we force our perspective and believe it’s real. Paul illustrates this concept very well in Romans 7: 14-25. Here is the first of 4 forced perspectives we will discuss in the following weeks.
Take a look at this humorous video that discusses how we’ve abused true service.
This humorous video expresses how Christians have forced a perspective on what serving others looks like. I’m afraid far to often we don’t take the time to learn Jesus’ perspective.
To be a servant you must think like a servant. I’ve run across people looking for a handout, needing a favor, thumbing a ride, looking to get out of the rain, needing gas money, itching for a beer, people that are hungry, lonely, running away from abuse, and even needing medical attention. It’s not hard to run across people to serve. The problem is making sure that I serve them for the right reason.
Here is a real tearjerker
As noble and tear-jerking as this video is I can’t help but ask if they are serving for the right reason. If they are, great, but countless others do things as amazing as this without a desire to meet the deeper spiritual needs of those helped.
I let a kid come live with me once. He was homeless, without a job, and very hungry. For a month he did nothing more than eat my food, sleep on my couch, play my video games, and go to church with me. He needed a break. Eventually he got a job, started buying groceries, and began asking spiritual questions. To make sure I know that I’m serving others for the right reason I look to Jesus. Here’s how you can do that.
Learn Jesus’ Perspective On Service
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
Why did Jesus serve mankind?
What happened to those that Jesus served?
Understand Your Forced Perspective on Service
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
What truly motivates me to serve?
What is the long-term impact of my service to others?
In Mark 10: 35-45 Jesus is confronted by his disciples. They created a false perspective of the Kingdom of God. Jesus took time to teach them true perspective. He taught them about service. He said, “Whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all.” Jesus indicated the key to glory was to serve as He serves. Jesus died to self by meeting the immediate needs of people, and he was prepared to physically die to meet the spiritual needs of mankind. Jesus knew the disciples would serve mankind by meeting their immediate and spiritual needs. Are you willing to die to yourself to serve others?
Make sure to weigh your motives and pray that God uses your service to meet the immediate needs of others as well as their deeper spiritual needs.