This last weekend I went to a CBNW men’s equipping retreat entitled “Big Kingdom, little kingdom.” Mark Hoeffner opened by saying, “Imagine you are with your closest friends and family members sitting around a fire looking at the photo album of your life. Then God shows up and you start explaining the pictures of your life to God from your perspective. Now imagine God gives you His perspective on what was happening during those times in your life. Would you have a different perspective?”
Everyone has a perspective on life, which guides us in future relationships. We approach life based on our experiences. Hoeffner gives the example of his adopted children:
Every one of my adopted children has come to the realization they were put into the foster care system because their parents loved their sin more than they loved their children. And this hurts. When my adopted children see this from their perspective they feel hurt, rejected, like something is wrong with them, and this leads to anger and hatred for their parents. And this will affect future relationships with authority figures as they self medicate by rejecting others before they are rejected; or by turning to drugs, sex, alcohol, or focusing on themselves and materialism fill the void. But none of this fixes the problem and only leads to more problems. When I focus on my life from my perspective, I approach relationships based on my perspective and I build my little kingdom and I live for myself often by myself because I don’t want to get hurt. [see image below] But if I see my life from God’s perspective, I approach relationships based on God’s perspective and I live for God’s Kingdom, His Big Kingdom, instead of my little kingdom.
Hoeffner gave the example of his adopted children; with each one of them Hoeffner led them to see their natural born parents through the lens of the Gospel, from God’s perspective. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16] Mark Hoeffner explains that his children needed shepherding to see their parents as people God loves and as people God wants to forgive. And as they see their parents from this perspective, they have asked for forgiveness for hating their parents and have been led to begin to love them and pray for them that they might be brought to repentance so that the relationship might be healed.
This is the Christian life.
Are you viewing things through a little kingdom perspective or a Big Kingdom perspective? Does this affect how you interact with people? If you are interacting with people through a little kingdom perspective, why is this? Is there something from your past that affects your emotions? Is there something from your past that makes it so you protect yourself from future relationships? How can you come to terms with your past and begin to see it through God’s perspective so that you interact with people in the future from a Gospel, Big Kingdom perspective?
This is why I love CBNW and Mark Hoeffner, he helps me deal with my past and see things from a Big Kingdom, Gospel perspective so that I can be a better husband, father, churchman, pastor, and friend.