To view reality from a slightly different perspective often yields a view of things totally unlike what they appeared to be. If we take just a couple of steps in another direction, what we view as reality is often profoundly changed.
Job, Rueben P.; Shawchuck, Norman (2013-10-24). A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God (Kindle Locations 1359-1361). Upper Room Books. Kindle Edition.
The worst truth seekers in the world are those of us who believe we’ve already found the truth. But if we set aside our arrogance, we can recognize that our human condition limits us to only partial knowledge of any deep truth. Acknowledging those limits opens the door to seeing more of the breadth and depth of God.
We’re more comfortable when we stay within familiar circles that reinforce our preexisting points of view. But our ability to “understand and know God” (Jer 9:24) grows when we non-judgmentally rub shoulders with those who come with a different perspective. Read books by authors with different doctrinal positions. (You don’t have to completely agree with them to learn from them.) Go to a cross-cultural or ethnically diverse church service. Spend time with someone from a different socioeconomic class. Force yourself to do uncomfortable things with an open mind for the purpose of pursuing a broader understanding of God and how He engages with people.
Here’s an illustration: If you hold a basketball up in front of your face, you can see less than half of that basketball at any one time. If that ball is even bigger, the percentage of it that you can see at once is even smaller — picture how little you could see if the ball was a few feet in front of you and was one mile in diameter! Now imagine how infinitely big God is. What percentage of Him can I see through my white, middle-class, middle-aged, Southern Californian, conservative, male lens? Not much. Every time I shift that lens a little I have the opportunity to understand and know Him better.
Isn’t it risky to expose ourselves to things that might lead us into wrong thinking? Yes. We worry about those “slippery slopes” leading us astray. But sometimes truth grows on slippery slopes and if we want the truth we have to brave the slope. That’s why we need to keep a rope firmly attached to people who know us well enough to recognize when we’re in trouble and can pull us back to safety. But a risk-averse, stay in my comfort zone, fortress mentality doesn’t equip us to grow the Kingdom of God in a world full of opposition.
So stretch yourself. Experience some discomfort. Take some risks. Seek God in places where you haven’t looked before. You might be surprised to find that God doesn’t look as much like you as you thought He does.