Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
TITLE: Lookout For Your Outlook!
By Rick Shaffer
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Just what is an outlook? According to the American Heritage Dictionary it could be the act of looking out, a place where something can be viewed, a point of view or attitude, or an expectation. For the purposes of this article, we will consider it as meaning a point of view or an attitude. By examining several points of view and how those points of view create or reflect in a person's attitude about them I believe the readers of this article can learn some valuable lessons.
Now when considering the issues of life we can be everything from very passive to very aggressive and even dogmatic! We could also be a realist seeking to know everything about God that can be discovered and willing to be subjective in our research and findings! It will all depend on our outlook and approach to our study. Rather than considering a long list of possibilities, I believe it would be profitable to consider only one thing; God's amazing character.
From the outlook of a passive person it may be that God's character is just too complicated to even consider, so rather than attempting to think on such a deep subject the passive person just accepts God for whatever he might be and is willing to go no further. In doing so the passive person never comes to know the wonderful plans that God has for them, the love and mercy of God or anything else important about God. To the passive person he is just a nebulous creature of unknown character and nature and as such cannot be of any concern one way or the other.
The aggressive person and the dogmatist can be one and the same person. The aggressive person pursues knowledge much like a bloodhound and won't be held back. He will “sniff out” the information wherever and whenever he can find it and yet will never be satisfied no matter how much he learns. At times this type of person gets stalled on certain points about God and these points become deeply entrenched within the aggressive person, and they will not budge off them even if an angel from Heaven came and corrected them. They then become what is termed dogmatists, and they become unteachable on one or more points concerning those issues. Their outlook is sometimes marred by a very self-righteous attitude which is then expressed in anger and resentment toward opposing views.
The realist may be every bit as aggressive as the dogmatists, however the realist can always be taught. The realist has a good outlook on the things he or she studies, and never seems to be in a particular hurry, but almost always finds the time to examine every available point relative to the thing he is learning. The realist is very calm and assured, and most certainly will be the one who is best suited and able to do a fair and accurate study on the character of God. The realist will make time to listen to others respectfully even when their point of view runs totally contrary to the realists view. The realist will weigh and balance all he or she studies and prayerfully come to a conclusion, especially on such an important topic as the character of God. For this person their outlook is forever dependent on their uplook for divine wisdom and understanding!
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