Point of View

Youth Forum

by Russ Bowman

Being a student on a major university campus is an interesting experience, Not long ago I was walking through the University of Houston’s Engineering building on the way to my first class. There were several groups of people around handing out various books, papers, and leaflets, as is normal on any college or university campus. As I walked on, I heard a girl’s voice say, “Here is your free copy.” I looked around in time to see her walk away. Suddenly I realized that a thick paper-back book had been placed in my hand. I was sure that I had become the proud owner of the teachings of some Eastern guru with a long beard of whom I had never heard. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had been given a copy of the New Testament.

I thumbed through the book and came across a bookmark. Printed on the marker was a small article entitled “Point of View.” It interested me. As I read the short essay, something about it struck me as funny. Its main observation was that everyone has a point of view which affects his thoughts and actions; a personalized pair of “rose-colored glasses” through which he sees the world. With this point I agreed. However, the remainder of the article emphasized that we have the right to any point of view and ours is fine as long as we consider other viewpoints. The essay then requested that Christianity be considered also, stating that it could “radically affect” our personal point of view.

I beg to differ with the article’s “point of view.” First of all, mankind does not have the “right” to a viewpoint as if he deserves it of his own merit. Our personal point of view is a privilege given us by God. We do not deserve freedom of choice — God gave it to us. Keeping this in mind, we need to realize that with any privilege comes responsibility. When my mother gives me the privilege of using her car, I am under obligation to care for it (and even put gas in it!). So it is with our freedom of choice, We are responsible for using it correctly.

Secondly, in order to correctly fulfill this obligation, we must be aware that there is a right point of view and a wrong point of view. It does matter how we see things. The right point of view will enable us to fulfill our purpose for existence: to serve God (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Every time a decision is made – whether or not to see this movie, or go to that party, or associate with these people — we should consider our service to God. Only then will we fulfill our obligation to choose the correct “point of view.” We will never be truly content nor will we ever perform our responsibilities if we do not make God’s point of view our point of view, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:7).

CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE  JANUARY, 1984

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