Seeing the Big Picture
“Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and ask for understanding”(Proverbs 2:2-3, NLT).
There is a well-known story about four blind men who were touching an elephant, and each described the animal differently. The first blind man felt the side of the elephant and concluded that an elephant is like a wall. The second wrapped his arm around one of the elephant’s legs and said, “An elephant is like a tree.” The third man touched the elephant’s trunk, concluding that an elephant is like a hose. And the fourth, feeling the tail, concluded that the animal was really like a rope! Which of the blind men were correct about the nature of an elephant? In some ways, they all were speaking the truth, and yet all of them were very limited in their perspective (Prov. 18:17).
Although we may believe ourselves to be balanced, objective truth-loving people, it is important to keep in mind Paul’s reminder that we now only know in part, prophesy in part and “see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor. 13:9,12). It is only “adolescent” immaturity and pride that would cause us to think that we in ourselves have come to full understanding on all issues of doctrine and practice.
Paul urges that it is only with “all the saints” that we will be able to have a full comprehension of this breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love (Eph. 3:17-19). If the four blind men could quit arguing long enough to learn from one another they might have a pretty good idea of the multifaceted shape of an elephant.
In family relationships and in the body of Christ we need to humble ourselves to learn from different perspectives instead of constantly blowing the trumpet for our own limited views. We will begin to see a clearer picture of the fullness of Christ when we see that the jigsaw puzzle piece that we’re holding onto, is only complete when it is joined to the other pieces.
At this time of your life, are you connected to others and eager to learn and grow?