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.

Breaking Free from a Broken System

When the movie “The Matrix” first came out, it hit something core in humanity. It was challenging us — would we choose the harshness of reality or remain in a comfortable delusion? The red pill or the blue pill.

Photo by Tim Johnson on Unsplash

When we choose the red pill, we need to acknowledge reality — that the system is broken; whether it’s family, work, or church. Second, we need to refuse the blue pill — go against the natural tendency to denial. To acknowledge that we are broken, that the system has effectively worked to break us, and we need healing. And this is hard. The blue pill is a real temptation.

In The Matrix, there’s something evil working behind the scenes using humans as its tools. So it is, in this world.

I was only a child when to my surprise and horror, I saw a whole flood of small “somethings” similar to black insects coming out from a traditional Chinese calendar featuring a pretty woman. One of those classic beauties. With all my might, I yelled, “No!” and the scene disappeared. I kept what I saw to myself. After I came to the Christian faith, I realised they were demons, a reality that Jesus dealt with on a daily basis. And that we deal with pretty often, but because we’ve been fed with the blue pill, we deny they exist. And when we deny they exist, we’re not tuned in to the fact that some of the “stuff” happening to us may not be as innocuous as it seems.

Refuse the blue pill. Take the red one. Because Jesus exists too. And He has the last Word.