A Chameleon’s Perspective

A devotion on Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.
–Ephesians 4:31-32

Chameleons get a lot of press for their ability to camouflage.

But they have another fascinating talent: their eyes can look in different directions at the same time! They literally can scan their surroundings with one eye and focus on an approaching predator with the other.

Our human eyes, on the other hand, are limited; likewise, so are our perspectives. Our narrow view opens wide the window to misunderstanding. We don’t know what cultural influences build others’ decisions. We can’t see the pain that presses them to misbehave. We can’t understand all their behaviors, and they can’t completely understand us.

When we forget how humble our viewpoint is, we make assumptions about others that make us bitter, angry, hateful, and slanderous.

I think of the angry wife whose husband didn’t call to say he would be late for dinner. She prepared her bitter speech while cooking. She added derogatives while eating, and exclamation points while cleaning up. She was finally ready to explode when the doorbell rang — until she saw the police. Her misunderstood husband had been in an accident.

We can’t see all the world. Thankfully, God does. He understands us. He forgives us.

We need to acknowledge our limited perspectives and humble ourselves, and instead of anger, pass around forgiveness.

Prayer

Dear God, Help me to put away my anger. Fill me with Your peace. Help me to be as kind, tender, and forgiving to others as You are to me. In Jesus’ dear name I pray, Amen.

Reflection

What was the last time someone completely misunderstood me? When might I have done the same to someone else lately?