Whether we realize it or not, we always choose a perspective. It is the first choice that informs decisions to come. Choosing a perspective is like knocking over the first domino. It leads to more decisions that follow the effect of the same line of perceiving.
In Genesis 50, Joseph chooses to understand, forgive, and influence his brothers by acknowledging the deep truth of his story. His brothers decided to kill him out of jealousy, then relented and instead sold him into slavery. Joseph recognizes the reality that harm was intended. But Joseph chooses to see that God used this evil to save the family, and Joseph chooses grace toward his brothers.
When someone cuts us off in traffic, we make a quick choice. We can view it as an attack, an affront to us, and make our decisions out of that perceived victim mentality. Or we can tap the break and sigh, thankful that we are ok and so is the other driver (who may or may not be in a hurry for a good reason).
Too often perception is something that just happens to us. We choose a perspective without even knowing. That causes a false reality. The world must be this way. We aren’t able to distinguish between emotions and reality. We are quick to blame, to justify our anger, to defend our feeling. What is often lost in the midst is the reality that we are making choices.
If we want to live intentional, purpose-filled lives, we have to be aware of the choices we are making concerning our perception of events, our own self, and the world at large. Like Joseph, we can choose a perspective that recognizes the good God intends.