When you’re talking to a co-worker, friend or family member, perspective is everything. Depending upon your age, background and life experiences, outlooks will vary. One bird’s eye view often provides a broad and complete picture which few have ever seen. Meanwhile, a maturing Christian will likely alter their perspective as they draw closer to Jesus, James 4:8.
O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. 21 [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it), 1 Timothy 6:20-21.
The apostle Paul writes two letters to a teenager pastor to share his own perspective. Perhaps, Paul was trying to play a similar role that Barnabas played in his own life. Following his conversion on the Road to Damascus, none of Jesus’ disciples believed that Paul was genuine about his newfound faith. According to Luke, Barnabas convinced the disciples to accept Paul as a fellow believer, Acts 9:27.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law, Galatians 5:16-18.
Paul went from a persecutor of the church, overseeing the death of Stephen, to a repenting sinner who returns to his hometown to tell others how God had changed his life. Yet, shortly after this revelation, Jewish leaders tried to kill Paul, Acts 9:23-25. This persecution gave Paul a new perspective on life, of how Jesus laid down his life for mankind, Romans 5:8. Meanwhile, Paul served as a mentor for several new first century Christians to provide a Christ-like perspective on life.
by Jay Mankus