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In the midst of controversy, one of the first casualties is perspective. It begins to narrow, and, if the process is not checked, perspective may eventually disappear. I've learned the importance of widening my perspective, especially in times of crisis.

Ralph Emerson once said, "The supreme lesson of life is to learn what the centuries say against the hours."

What destroys perspective is our penchant to measure ministry on too small a scale. We lose the wide-angle view because we're riveted on the close-up. Using a microscopic lens, even a harmless spider looks like a hairy, horrible monster. Most of us would never clean cobwebs from the house if we focused on the close-up view of spiders.

When Goliath pressured the Israelites, all the soldiers cowered. "He's so big, we can never kill him," they shuddered. That's the close-up view.

With a wider view, young David looked at the same giant and thought, He's so big, I can't miss.

I once fought with Emerson. While I agreed that life should be measured ...

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