We all ride the same roller coaster.
In counseling a number of years ago, I had a young lady who was working through past abuse. Her father had neglected her and the devastating scars ran really deep. My heart went out to her! In the healing process, she finally built up the courage to have a conversation with one of her siblings. As she poured out her heart, she was surprised to discover her sibling didn’t feel the same way! They both agreed their dad wasn’t very loving, but one didn’t see it as abusive at all.
They both rode this same parental roller coaster growing up. How could they see things so differently?
The longer I live, the more I see this. People can see life from completely different perspectives and fully believe their experience is correct. So whose perspective is right? Was dad abusive or not?
We now live in a world where truth is relative to our experiences. I was even taught in psychology that what people think is true to them is, well, true. Thus, we need to counsel as though they were really abused, neglected or mistreated in a job.
The further I get into this, the more I realize this doesn’t always work. I accidently enabled some people to live perpetual lives as the self-perceived victim. I have learned in the years of doing this that people sometimes need to be fired, and parents aren’t perfect. Sometimes perspectives are wrong and need to be corrected for the benefit of all involved. If truth is truly relative to any perspective, there isn’t any truth. Truth by nature must be exclusive. There are times someone has to be wrong. This is essential in many aspects of life.
John 8:31-32 says this: “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
When reflecting on this verse, most people focus on the phrase “the truth will set you free.” Though this is important, the key here is believing in him (Christ) and the phrase “abide in my word.” To move to something deeper than finite flawed perspectives, you must believe in something that transcends them. Jesus made it really clear – we need a common reference point from which we should view life. Anyone looking for stability must wrestle through this.