17th July 2014

Different Points of View 

“Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and Destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.”
Isaiah 59. 7-8 (NKJV)

A husband and wife came for counselling after 15 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 15 years they had been married. She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured over the course of their marriage. Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said, “This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?” The husband thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I go fishing!”

That humorous story illustrates the difference between the way the minds of different people work. One of our greatest challenges in marriage or partnership is to learn to understand and appreciate the other person’s point of view. So if it takes time and effort for two people to learn to live together, how much more difficult when the problem is scaled up to tribes and nations.

If we think about the situations in Syria, in Egypt, in Iraq and Ukraine, you have large groups of people who want the situation to be resolved their way, and are prepared to maim and kill their own countrymen who have a different point of view. How can these different points of view be reconciled?

It’s all too easy to give up hope and become depressed, rightly believing the problems are getting beyond human capacity to solve. But there is another way! God, who is loving and merciful, is aware of humanity’s infinite capacity to behave inhumanly toward each other. The Bible is a good news story of a patient God allowing humanity to clash because of their different points of view. As we learn our limitations we have to go through these troubling times.

But God, who sent his son to earth to teach a different way of life, to die on our behalf, to pay the penalty for the way we live today, is not going to allow it to go on this way for ever. Christ will return in power and glory, to reconcile all the different points of view that cause conflict between individuals, tribes and nations. He will have the power to impose peace, by force if necessary, at the beginning of his return to earth.

Does this seem unbelievable? Of course it does, unless you are prepared to investigate and find out for yourself the promises of God. There is a better world and a wonderful future ahead for all humanity. You don’t agree? Not to worry, it seems we just have different points of view!

Father in Heaven, how sad that there is such violence and such hatred in this world today. How sad that different points of view so often and so easily cause conflict in our homes, our extended families, our countries. Truly we do not know the way of peace. Please speed the return of Christ—the only true solution to this lack of peace.

Study by Keith Hartrick


 keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com