FROM MY SIDE OF THE TABLE

Picture a Bible study. The study consists of a square table with a student at each side. Al is on the north side, Bob on the east, Chuck on the south, and Dave on the west side. All of the students have tunnel vision. Sitting with each student is an instructor. These instructors look uncannily alike and sitting so close to their perspective students they are almost invisible.

 

A Bible is set on end in the middle of the table at eye level. The front of the Bible faces Al and they begin to explain to one and another what each man sees. Because each man suffers from tunnel vision they see only what is directly in front of them. Al sees only the front cover, Bob looks directly into the right edge of the Book, Chuck sees the back of the Book, and Dave looks at the binding of the Book.

 

Al begins after consulting with his instructor and he says, I see an object that is red in color, approximately 12 inches tall, 9 inches wide, and it has Holy Bible printed on it in a Gold color. After consulting with his instructor Bob says, although you are correct about the height of the object the width is only about two inches”. It is red only on the outer edges and white in the middle. Chuck agrees with Al about the size and color, but he says there are no words printed on it. Dave agrees with Bob on the size, but not the color, and he agrees with Al about the printing.

 

You can see that each man is correct about what he sees and if you gain any understanding from my writing I hope it is this, that is possible to be correct about what you see and yet even more correct if you view the same question from a different angle. Viewing a question from a different angle may change what you thought you already knew.

 

Even though the views of the men at the table are different, they are all 100% correct about what they see and yet not one of them fully understands that it is a book and will not until they change seats and views with their peers. 

 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the instructors are all the same person, they represent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can only answer the questions which are asked. If you are one of the students at the table and only ask your instructor if what you see is true, and it is true, He can only answer yes, but if you ask if one of the other students is correct the answer could also be yes.

 

The only way each man could fully understand what is on the table is to move to another side of the table and look at the Bible from that perspective. Combine that view, or information, with his previous view, and then move again until he has seen the Bible from all four views. Of course the next step would be to actually open the Bible and begin to study God’s word.

 

I have been moving around many tables studying the Bible, trying the view from other sides. Now I try to tell you about the view from my side of the table and how I see from your angle also (if I do see from your angle).

 

Think about what I write here and I believe you will see at least one subject differently when you view it from my side of the table. I believe you will be surprised and amazed at the view from another’s side. I know I have been when the Holy Spirit has revealed a fresh new way of viewing or understanding something which I thought I already knew, by allowing me to see it from another side of the table.

 

I have a few disclaimers and I would like to state. First and foremost, if you see any wisdom or insight in this blog it is from God and if you see any mistakes I will assume credit for them. After all I should get credit for something! Shouldn’t I?

 

Second I am only a student, not a teacher, and I write this blog for other students, not for teachers (Unless they are honest enough to admit that they too are students). The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). I have heard this verse quoted many times by those who work in the Ministry. There are exceptions, but as a rule Ministers do not work with their hands. It seems most of them think the verse means one man can sharpen another man. However, it may come as a surprise, but iron doesn’t sharpen iron. You do not sharpen a knife with a knife, nor an axe with another axe and you can’t sharpen iron with iron. (You don’t tug on superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t take the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Slim)

 

So take what I say with a grain of salt, but don’t just assume that I am wrong; though I certainly can be. Please tell me if from your view, my view looks wrong. Perhaps I have not explained my view very well. But above all let all of us quell our pride of “knowing it all” (because we don’t).

One Response to FROM MY SIDE OF THE TABLE

  1. soapyjames says:

    astudent

    First thoughts on this are: I completely relate to this and I know how I can make this a resource by turning it into a game to demonstrate/educate the people I work with. Hope you don’t mind.

    I wrote something similar to this the other day in one of my many rants addressed to my personal journal where no man gets to see it. I was considering the concept of ‘Integrity’ and looking at truth in what many consider to be a closed community. One has to step out of the group from time to time to make sure the reality that is portrayed is in line with the rest of the worlds thinking. Due to my profession I work for many organizations and often can find myself addressing many different theological perspectives, many of which I don’t carry an opinion on. The one thing I will say is it presents an amazing opportunity to learn, if I am open to listen.

    Peace

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