When Perception isn’t Reality

WEDNESDAY’S WORD

“Perception is everything,” a former boss used to say frequently and quite fervently. I knew something was on his mind, but I didn’t ask. Then I noticed it playing out in my life.

The meaning of this quote, for those of you who are a little behind here, is that what people perceive to be their reality is, in fact, their own reality.

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What people perceive is actually their own reality. The issue is, they play out their “reality “on me, which has resulted in hurts and drama. Then, I had to adjust my own perception — the people whom I thought were mature and objective were not. They were acting out their presuppositions on me.

What they thought was me, wasn’t me. But they thought it was. And what could have been a rational conversation to sort out an issue became… Well, you can let your imagination run riot here…

Time and time again, it happened.

It became clear that no matter what others thought, I had to practice being precise about what I was thinking and believing, and to articulate it to them.

This is what Jesus wants. He wants us to clarify wrong perceptions. When we find out someone is offended over a perceived slight, we could take a moment to talk it out with them; conversely, when we are aggravated by what we think is a slight from another, we can initiate the conversation with a view to reconciliation.

These conversations can hopefully, result in an alignment of perception and we can move forward.

And what if these conversations don’t resolve anything?

Well, what I’ve found is that God isn’t in unreality.

Living in unreality results in a lot of hurt and drama.

I prefer to be where God is.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Phil 4:8

Addendum: A reader asked me, “What if there isn’t trust?” My answer is, ask God to prepare all parties’ hearts and minds, to arrange a time and a place for the mutual conversation to take place. And then, let it go, forget it, stop chewing on it. It has become His responsibility; let Him handle the details.

Go on with the rest of your life.

When the time is right, you will meet and the conviction of the Spirit will be there.

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