I had a friend back in the late 70’s, right after I became a Christian, who resisted following suite for over a year because she was afraid of losing all her friends. She eventually became a Christian, and yes, she lost most of her friends, but she admitted the new friends she gained more than made up for the fair weather friends she had lost. She noted that one of the important things that had changed was her perspective, and because of that things like how many friends she had and who they were had receded in importance.
When I think back on some of the things I have gained from my conversion, I have recently begun to appreciate the change in perspective my Christianity has brought me. Paul addresses the foundation of this issue in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, noting that worldly wisdom is nothing and Godly wisdom is all, an all important change in perspective.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Paul later amplifies the thought in 3:18-20.
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
If that isnt a change of perspective, I dont know what is. It is almost as if we have changed universes and while we appear to live in the same dimension as those who reject God, we actually live in an intersecting dimension that affords us a different view of the events unfolding before us.
Paul doesnt express the difference in that way, instead he uses the language of his perspective to say something similar when he tells the Ephesians in 2:18-20 that they have a new citizenship.
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
One thing that definitely changes when you change your citizenship is your perspective. Ask any naturalized citizen of the United States. There is a metanoia, a fundamental change of ones mind, ones frame of reference. It is the same for a Christian. Our metanoia is similar, but deeper, part of the new creation we have become in Jesus Christ.
I would like to suggest that when you look at Paul’s demand in 1 Corinthians 13:5 to examine yourself (“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”), that you consider examining how your perspective has changed, how you now embrace the wisdom of God rather than man, and are now citizens of heaven. Sometimes it helps to see that we are indeed inhabitants of a different dimension, to remind ourselves to look at things from that different perspective.