Wednesday, January 19, 2011

POV Wednesday – You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but…

The funny thing about perspective is that everyone has one.

And the problem with that is often times perspective wars with Truth, because there’s only one of those.

Some might say that statement in and of itself is a perspective. However, Truth, in its essence and definition, is absolute.

So, we require wisdom to decipher that which is our own perspective, perhaps only marginally influenced by Truth, and what is Truth itself. If we do not seek this wisdom, fights are imminent because we will inevitably butt heads with someone.

Shall we not, then, for the sake of keeping the peace, attempt to persuade others to our perspective when Truth is on the line?

Of course, we should. A person insisting they can handle the effects of harmful drugs or hold their breath underwater for an eternity or believe pulling a trigger would make a difference should be informed of the facts contradicting their perception.

Yes, you say, but those scenarios are based on scientific facts. Everyone knows meth destroys a person mentally and physically, holding your breath too long underwater results in drowning, and shooting an innocent does not make you a hero.

Well, apparently not everyone knows these things, because it happens all too often.

OK, then. Those are drastic examples. How about relationship perspectives? In the workplace, for example. Have you ever met someone set on being offended? Who, say, believes with all his heart the boss hates his guts. You know for a fact that isn’t so. What matters more, the truth of the matter or the perception of the individual? Both determine actions, reactions and consequences.

Sometimes, no matter how earnestly you warn people about a destructive path you perceive they tread, there’s no listening. You can hint and nudge, suggest and analogize. The more expressive of us can beg and plead, reason and threaten, but some people will barrel forward with reckless abandon because their perspective is set.

So what do we do?

What about spiritual matters? What do you do when Truth is ignored while self is satiated and glorified? How do you stand hearing for the ump-teenth time, “Don’t judge me” or “what about the sliver in your own eye” or “that’s your interpretation”?

It’s easy to get riled. When you have someone’s best interest at heart and they constantly rebuff your good intentions, strong emotions can spark.

I believe too many arguments start in the name of evangelism because while Truth is dispensed, it’s done so from one perspective. Zealots shy from considering others’ perspectives for fear of diluting Truth.

But I submit that Truth cannot be diluted. It can only be accepted or rejected.

Therefore, stating the Truth, or living the Truth, is all that is required of the evangelist. The acceptance/rejection choice is up to the evangelized.

No matter what we’re talking about – behavior, relationships, spiritual conditions, it is important to share perspective based on Truth, but also to let Truth do its intrinsic work for it is living and breathing and sharper than a double-edged sword.

It’s like that old saying – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The drinking will occur, but only when the horse gets thirsty enough.

That’s my POV. How do you see it?

(photo by


Jay Harris said...

Wow, Lori. This is one of the best articles you have done. Proud of you.

Sarah(the)Baker said...

Yeah, that's a tough subject. Kind of trying to mix truth and mercy...Jesus was full of both. Emotional intelligence vs. spiritual or basic intelligence.

Not exactly the best at that, myself.

Great post, though. :)