Which is the Good Point of View?

I was at a writer’s conference last week and so I’ve been thinking about point of view.

Among writers, point of view is one of the primary things to consider when writing a novel—determining whose eyes and thoughts to use in telling the story.

But point of view is important in real life as well, particularly when looking at two important passages in Scripture. A verse I think about often is Job 2:10 “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (NIV)

That’s a pretty-in-your-face verse, but if we take it apart and look at it from a different point of view, it seems friendlier.

Let’s start with that word good, particularly in the infamous context of Romans 8:28, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Works for the good of those who love him–who is determining what is good in this verse? God himself.

You know, the creator of the universe, the God before all time, who loves you with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms. That God. He decides what is good for YOU.

Now, I might think winning a million dollars in the lottery would be a good thing for me. But would it, really?

Would that be God’s idea of good for ME? Or is that MY idea of what is good?

But what if winning a million dollars meant my family began squabbling over the money? What if my family was destroyed because of all that money?

What then would be good? Winning the money or not winning the money?

I’d go with not winning, how about you?

(For the record, if someone gave me a million dollars I would pay off the student loans of all the young people I know and contribute the rest toward the mortgage at our church.)

Of course, we should move on to trouble, but again, by whose standard? Mine or God’s. And if God uses trouble in my life to move me back to him, could you almost argue that trouble, too, can be good?

These verses bring us back to one central truth: do I trust God with my life or do I think I know better?

If God, who is outside of time and looks down from heaven at the whole of my life in one glance, determines something is good for me, even if it doesn’t feel good to me, who really has the better point of view to decide on what is good for me?

It pains me to admit it some times, but I’ll vote with God.

I call this “turning the prism,” to look at things from a slightly different angle. Sometimes if I just alter the way I look at something–try to see it from God’s point of view, or even from that of a family member–the definition of good can change.

And usually, sad to say, for the better.

Thanks be to God.

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1 Comment

  1. I have a tendency to want to be in control, but I’ve learned that when I let go and follow the Lord’s leading, life is so much richer and more enjoyable. I’ve been so sure at times that I knew what was best for me, but His way proved to be far superior. I try to remember that when I’m tempted to take the reins.


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