Your Point of View

I used to teach a college class in business ethics.

One semester one of the students taking the class was the local police chief. Before he became the local police chief he had been a detective with the New York city police department for 25 years.

He said something in class once that I have never forgotten.

He said that in all his years as a detective, he had never met a single criminal who truly believed, in their heart of hearts, that the criminal act they committed was truly wrong. He said that to a person, every single one of them believed that if you really – really – understood the totality of all circumstances leading up to the crime you would know that what they did – all things considered – wasn’t really wrong.

He was making a point about interrogating suspects. It’s not like how they show it on TV, where the interrogator confronts the suspect to get them to confess. He said the real way that you really get suspects to confess is by convincing them that even if nobody else in the whole world really understands them, you do. When the suspect truly believes that you really do understand them, that’s when they confess.

In other words, when the cop falsely gains the suspect’s deep trust — the cop can con the suspect into confessing to the crime.

While that’s somewhat troubling in its own right, it also is a real cautionary tale about relying on one’s own perspective to determine right and wrong.

The challenge for Christ followers is to keep working at seeing the world from God’s perspective rather than from our own. Because our own perspective can delude us into believing that certain things are right, all things considered, when God doesn’t see it that way.

%d bloggers like this: