I just finished reading an intriguing book by Swiss author, Hans Rowling, called Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World — and Why Things are Better Than You Think. The thesis the author proves in numerous analysis reminds me of a basic lesson I learned in my Hermeneutics classes. We can’t help but to see life through the lenses we have on.
People see the Bible through those same lenses too. For example, if you grew up in a strong Baptist home in the South, I can safely assume I understand your biases and presuppositions about life, Scripture, and worldview.
If, however, you grew up as a 1st generation immigrant, I admit, I cannot truly appreciate the lenses through which you view those same things.
Whether we can or cannot see through the lens someone else is perceiving, we can, in the least, admit that we are seeing through our own unique lenses. Like it or not, most of our perception is inherited. Recognizing our inherited or adopted biases and perceptions will help us begin to strive for unity.
Once we admit that we each have inherited perspectives, we can then learn how and when to utilize different lenses available to us. Perhaps through increased education, through deeper discipleship, or through new relationships we can glean new lenses and appreciate the way others are viewing life. If we love one another, we are willing to see from their perspective in order to help them grow. Jesus became one of us because He loved us, but He also loved us enough not to leave us that way.
When Ben Gates discovered Benjamin Franklin’s optical device in the movie, National Treasure, each set of lenses opened up a while new world for the wearer. But the most rewarding discovery the treasure hunter made was when he aligned all of them together! The complete perspective was missing from everyone else’s naked eye. The more we mature in our faith, education, intellect, relationship IQ, etc. the more comprehensive our view becomes and the more helpful we can be.