8 ways to deal with a person who has a narrow perspective on life from a Christian viewpoint

Navigating life with a narrow perspective can be limiting, both for the individual and those around them.

From a Christian viewpoint, it seems even more important to help these individuals broaden their outlook. Not to manipulate their beliefs, but rather to influence them towards a more open-minded way of thinking.

Dealing with someone who has a narrow perspective can be challenging, but there are ways to approach this from a Christian standpoint. I’m here to share 8 strategies that can assist you in this journey.

So, let’s start exploring these methods to understand how you can gently encourage someone to start viewing life from a wider lens, without infringing on their personal freedom of choice.

1) Display empathy

Empathy is one of the fundamental teachings of Christianity. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

When dealing with someone who holds a narrow perspective on life, it’s crucial to start with empathy. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but simply acknowledge their viewpoint and feelings.

Remember, everyone has their reasons for thinking the way they do. By empathizing, you’re opening a safe space for dialogue without judgment.

This empathetic approach not only reflects Christian teachings but also sets a foundation for influencing a broader perspective. It’s not about manipulating them into thinking your way, but rather understanding their viewpoint and gently guiding them towards widening their perspective.

However, it’s vital to ensure your empathy is genuine. False empathy can come off as manipulative and dishonest, tarnishing your credibility and damaging your relationship with the person.

2) Share personal experiences

Here’s where the power of personal stories comes in. I remember a time when I was dealing with a close friend who was stuck in a very rigid way of thinking. It was difficult to watch him miss out on so many experiences and opportunities because of his narrow viewpoint.

One day, I decided to share a personal experience with him. I told him about a time when I was faced with a similar narrow-minded perspective and how deciding to step outside of my comfort zone changed my life for the better.

By sharing my own story, I wasn’t pushing him to think like me, but rather showing him that there were other ways of seeing the world. It worked as an ice breaker and soon, we started having more open discussions about various topics.

Sharing personal journeys can often help others see things from a different perspective – not because they are being forced to, but because they get to see the benefits and growth that come with open-mindedness. Just remember, the key is to share, not impose.

3) Use the power of prayer

Prayer holds a profound place within the Christian faith. It’s not just about asking for help or expressing gratitude; it’s also a powerful tool for transformation and enlightenment.

Scientists have found that prayer can lead to changes in thought patterns. Brain scans show that when individuals pray, there’s increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area associated with higher-level thinking, empathy, and compassion.

When dealing with someone with a narrow perspective, inviting them to pray can be a gentle way to encourage broader thinking. Praying together can provide a space for reflection and openness to new ideas. It’s not about praying for them to change their mind per se, but rather praying for enlightenment and wisdom for all.

As you both engage in prayer, there’s potential for spiritual growth and transformation, effectively broadening perspectives. Always remember, the intention should not be manipulation but shared enlightenment.

4) Be patient and persistent

Patience is a virtue, especially when dealing with someone who has a narrow perspective on life. It’s essential to understand that change doesn’t happen overnight.

Persistence, coupled with patience, can be powerful. You may not see a shift in their perspective immediately after a conversation or even several discussions. But, if you remain patient and consistently introduce new ideas in a respectful manner, you may start to see small changes over time.

Keep in mind that it’s not about pushing them to change their views, but rather gently encouraging them to consider new perspectives. It’s about planting seeds of thought that could potentially grow into broader viewpoints over time.

This approach aligns perfectly with the Christian principle of ‘love is patient,’ reinforcing the importance of patience and persistence in our interactions with others.

5) Show unconditional love

At the heart of Christian teachings is the concept of unconditional love. It’s about loving others regardless of their faults, shortcomings, or in this case, their narrow perspective on life.

This might be challenging, especially when you feel their limited viewpoint is causing them to miss out on so much more life has to offer. But remember, love is not just about accepting the person when they align with our viewpoints. It’s about accepting them as they are, right here and right now.

Showing unconditional love doesn’t mean you have to agree with their perspective. Instead, it’s about providing a safe and supportive environment where they feel valued and heard. This can often create the necessary trust and openness for them to consider expanding their viewpoint.

In the end, love can be one of the most powerful influencers for change. And isn’t that what Christianity teaches us – that love conquers all?

6) Encourage curiosity

Curiosity has always been a significant part of my life. As a child, I was the one who asked ‘why’ a lot. I wanted to understand the world around me, to know why things happened the way they did. This curiosity led me to explore different ideas, cultures, and beliefs, which in turn shaped my broad perspective on life.

When dealing with someone with a narrow viewpoint, fostering their curiosity can be an effective approach. Start by asking thought-provoking questions that encourage them to think beyond their existing beliefs.

Inspire them to see the beauty in diversity and the growth that comes from learning about different perspectives. It’s not about changing their mind, but about sparking their curiosity to explore what’s beyond their current understanding.

Curiosity can be a powerful catalyst for change, leading to broader perspectives and a richer understanding of life’s complexities.

7) Lead by example

One of the most effective ways to influence someone towards a broader perspective is by leading by example. Actions often speak louder than words, and living out the values you wish to instill can be incredibly impactful.

If you want to encourage a more open viewpoint, demonstrate this in your life. Show kindness to all, be open to different ideas, and display a willingness to learn and grow.

Your actions can serve as a living testament to the benefits of a broad perspective on life. It’s not about telling them how to think or live, but about showing them through your actions.

This approach aligns with the Christian principle of being “salt and light,” influencing others through our actions and character rather than mere words.

8) Ensure respect

The most crucial aspect of dealing with someone who has a narrow perspective on life is to always ensure respect. No matter how much you disagree with their viewpoint, it’s important to respect their right to their beliefs.

Challenging someone’s perspective doesn’t mean belittling or disrespecting them. Instead, it involves engaging in respectful dialogue, listening to their views, and sharing yours without imposing.

Respect creates a safe space for open conversations and potential growth. It solidifies trust and fosters a better understanding between both parties.

At its core, Christianity teaches us to “do to others as you would have them do to you”. This principle of respect and mutual understanding forms the foundation of any successful attempt at broadening perspectives.

Final thought: It’s all about love

At the heart of every interaction, every attempt to broaden someone’s perspective, lies the fundamental principle of love.

The Bible tells us that “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). This profound teaching speaks volumes about how we should approach those with a narrow perspective on life.

Love, in this context, is not just about affection. It’s about patience, understanding, respect, and empathy. It’s about accepting others for who they are while gently nudging them towards personal growth.

Dealing with someone who has a narrow perspective can be challenging. But remember, it’s not about changing their viewpoint overnight but about planting seeds of thought and love that can potentially grow and flourish over time.

As you navigate these interactions, let love guide your actions. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about how much we know or understand – it’s about how much we care.

What would Jesus say?

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Graeme Richards

Graeme Richards

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