Perceptions And… Errr… Perceptions

Forgive me if I’m re-telling this story… I can’t find reference to it
in my blog but perhaps I’ve published it before.

Walking across the street from work several years ago I carefully
avoided running into a dude also crossing near me in the exact
opposite direction.

As I looked up into his scowling dark eyes I couldn’t help but
notice long, greasy black hair and a “just GIVE me a reason to
come after you with an icepick” expression -nor could I help
noticing his black tee shirt with the statement in huge, white block
letters that read: “I HAVE no issues!”.

I nearly bit my tongue to the blood as I fought back laughing so
hard I’d have surely fallen down in the middle of the street otherwise.

All I’ll say is that he and I didn’t share the same perspective!

Somewhere between our needs and our individual (or even group)
perceived needs is the truth.

Reality is often a bit of a shock, and over my lifetime have come any
number of shocks to my own personal sense of need.

We NEED water, food, clothing, some sort of shelter (housing). We NEED
health care of some sort, both hygiene, preventative habits and medicine
and sometimes a lot more than that. Hospital comes to mind.

Most of us do not need a jail or prison term, but that comes up
sometimes and in some cases I suspect that also is a need- but not one
any of us thinks is a need unless to bolster job opportunities in our
local area.

Perception is a funny thing, even a moving target in that our personal
and even larger group perceptions change over time with any number of
issues affecting and shaping those changes.

Though I find it troubling, I often expect perceptions to (at least
for the moment) “run the show”, to rule over what otherwise might seem
obvious truths in terms of human logic, lessons from history or even
short-term “sense” not to mention long term repercussions.

To perceive in terms of core definition means to become aware, know,
or identify by means of one’s senses, to discern or understand.

The problem with this is that all human beings- individually and
collectively- often MISS-perceive.

One translation of the word “mistake” in James 1.2 is “stumble”.
“Indeed, we all make many mistakes.”

The humility and openness to such an obvious reality ought to bring us
to a spiritual maturity we are alas, often without -without which as
individuals and local communities, often ends in conflict.

Your perception of X equals Y. My perception of the very same X might
equal Z. Now what?

Psalm 133 is a reality too many Christ-followers rarely experience. To
walk in such unity CAN happen… but it costs each of us. One major
cost is our personal pet perceptions… or I might say “gripes”,

Here’s an example:

Jesus deemed all sinners worth dying for, but my own understanding, my
own interpretation of The Bible is in itself also a perception that
I’m well aware some other Christians do not share. They believe Jesus only
died for -some-, meaning that “not all will be saved”, not all who die
will be eternally in the presence of God and God’s redeemed people.

In fact, I agree with them in the sense that not all will follow Jesus
in this life in faith, therefore not all will be with Him in eternal
life. At the same time I am convinced (according to the same scripture
that those disagreeing with me believe to be the Word of God) Jesus
truly died “once for ALL” (my caps. for emphasis), not meaning that
all will be saved but that He still died for all people.

But you see, both “sides” of this question have not only the ability
to think, pray, study, research what the biblical Greek and Hebrew
scholars have to say about this doctrine and all the scriptures that
pertain to the issue… we are not all of the exact same mind on it.

We come from different schools of theological and doctrinal thought.
In the end, it’s not only about actual fact/truth and what God
Himself would call “knowledge” but also perception.

Discerning actual fact from personal perception is a huge matter and
core to ending conflict. It’s also an area all of us need to think and act
more on. It takes time, effort and humility. It costs. Sometimes it costs
a great deal more when we avoid these responsibilities.

So back to the beginning: are my perceived “needs” truly needs? Would
Jesus agree with me that X, Y or Z are NEEDS in my life?

This, I find, to often be the great leveler amongst my fellow believers.

Our perceptions must not be given more authority in our beliefs nor
choices than God’s Word on the given matter. But often, our
perceptions nearly rule our lives, lord it over other’s lives and have
often started horrific wars, maintained tyranny and for that matter
both split and started local churches and ministries due to human flaw
and error… due to perceptions being given more “clout” than Jesus’
Own words.

Hmmmm. What to do?

Brutal self-honesty, truly considering the views of those who oppose
-your- position on things… and a serious dose of humility and
admission of one’s own ability to mess things up due to our desire to
“get our way”.

Well, this is at least my perception 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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One thought on “Perceptions And… Errr… Perceptions

  1. Man i got to tell Ya Im laughing so hard again right not its not even funny ,,Wow! Funny the second time round brother!Thank You for that remunder I needed it today! Praise Jesus!1

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