The Way We See It
If I have heard it said once, I have heard it said a thousand times, “perception is reality.” And if I have puked once…well, you know the rest.
What is it with man’s twisted view of reality and truth? Where do we get the idea that reality is what we perceive it to be? Is truth really relative to our own perception of the way things are? Just because a person believes something to be true doesn’t make it true, only believed.
Have you ever argued with someone who is color-blind over the color of a tie? Have you ever tried to convince someone dying of thirst that it’s not really water, but a mirage? Have you ever tried to convince a 3-year-old that germs are real and that hands need to be washed before eating? Some people think they know what they see, but they don’t.
Have you ever tried to argue with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) about the letters on the wall? Yes, a “B” may appear to your flawed eyes as a “D”, but that doesn’t change what is on the wall.
Hot or Cold?
Sure, there are certain times when it seems like truth is relative, and here is a good example.
When my wife and I walk into a room, both of us will perceive a different sensation. If the temperature on the thermometer reads 70 degrees, then my wife is going to exclaim, “Why is it so hot in here?” On the other hand, I am going to say, “I think it feels fine.” I may, depending on how hot the temperature is outside, think that what my wife perceives to be hot is actually cool.
Both are correct based on our individual experiences and perceptions, but in reality the truth of the temperature is still 70, regardless of how we feel about it.
Several years ago I was unfortunate enough to transport a bunch of college kids to a party. It was unfortunate because long before some of them ever got on the school bus they had already been drinking.
The place they were going to was up a mountain. About 5 minutes into the trip, about the third or fourth curve, one girl decided to vomit on the window, down the inside wall, and between the seats. It was all liquid, all alcohol, and all nasty. A few minutes later she felt she was ready to go party some more, for, in her eyes, she was perfectly clean. The only problem was that we (everyone on the bus) could tell she was soaked…in other words, we weighed the “spirits.”
God Sees Everything
When it comes to self-perception, reality is what God sees. He not only sees the outside, but the heart is bare before Him. As the proverb says, a man may consider himself clean, which is his own perception of reality, but the Lord knows what’s really going on.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
It is foolish for men to try to justify their sinful, dirty actions before a holy God. It is foolish to depend on our own perception of what is right and wrong. Our eyes only want to see what makes us look good, not evil.
That is why we need God’s wisdom.
14 responses to “Is It Perception Or Deception?”
Never once did you probably stop to think that perhaps the puking girl was desperately trying to mask the pain with alcohol. Possibly, the abuse she once received from a loved one. Or, that kids are usually experimental until later learning their lessons, no matter if they are raised in a Christian environment or not.
Maybe you did? I don’t know.
It is such a blessing to know that the Lord sees the heart of everyone, and that his judgment exceeds the judgment of self-appointed men. May the Lord have mercy on such people–on us all–for their/our shortcomings.
Damon, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do appreciate it. However, after re-reading what I wrote, I don’t understand why you wrote what you did. No, I never questioned the girl’s reasons for getting drunk, or why she drank at all. But neither did I make any assumptions. All I commented on was what I experienced – a college girl who thought she was fine, but wasn’t.
Excellent conviction. Thank you and God bless!
Pingback: Is It Perception Or Deception? | The Recovering Legalist – A Mom Looking Up
Well, it’s really complicated, Anthony! The Christian response is often just as you have laid it out, we like our absolute truth, our objective reality. We tend to frown on things like perception and subjective reality. We really panic over things like relative morality!
I address this issue a lot because I think faith itself actually demands that we trust in the Lord and place our eyes on things we cannot see. Our perceptions can become really important and sometimes we need to let go of our reliance on what we insist is objective truth. I sometimes say, “whether you believe Jesus is your Savior or you don’t, you’re right.” We’re called to believe. We have to make a subjective decision based on our own perspective. Even when Jesus was right in front of people back in the day, even when He was their objective reality, they still denied Him. So an objective, tangible reality, does not necessarily protect us from deception.
The original title of this post was “The Perception Deception.” Maybe I should have kept that. The reason is because I was focusing more on the idea of perception, not so much on the subject of deception. Yes, people can look reality head-on and still be deceived. Heck, look at how many people voted for AOC!
LOL! Good point, Anthony. AOC pretty much confirms it.
I enjoyed your “test the spirits,” part, like literally, we can smell you, so your powers of discernment seem to be under the influence and out of tune with objective reality. 🙂
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 16:25
This comes to mind. Belief is the only currency of a human mind. Whether they believe something to be true or not, they will see the fruits of their thoughts. Things that are right in front of them will go unnoticed because they have not opened their eyes to the possibilities of truth.
We are fortunate. We have God Almighty telling us what truth is, so we have something to compare things to. But then, God does not have the market cornered on belief. Other religions proclaim their truths and for the people who follow, that is their truth.
In the end it ‘is’ all about perception because how we engage with the truth depends on the filters through which we are looking.
Consider this for example. You and insanitybitesd22 think that AOC is a joke. I tend to think that she is a very smart individual. And we are all telling the truth. As we perceive it to be. It only becomes significant when that person (AOC) has a direct effect on our lives.
Or consider, our current situation (crisis). Half of the U.S. cringes at the words “Democratic Socialism” but, they jump for joy when Congress gives them all $1200 ‘for free’. Or, as might be the case, they complain that it is not enough.
It’s time we stop leaving our brains at the door and sit down with all our faculties to discuss what future we need to aspire to. JMHO
Thank you for your honest opinion. Thank you caring enough to leave such a thoughtful comment.
You know, I’m sitting on my back deck/porch, listening to some music, drinking some hot tea, and enjoying the quietness and peace of my middle-Georgia back yard. I hear some birds, the air is getting cool, and the sky is dimming. I’m blessed. So, the last thing I want to do is debate or disagree. All I will say is that we evidently have different understandings of what “truth” actually is, for, as I understand it, what is fundamentally and objectively true cannot be fundamentally and objectively untrue at the same time.
Now, back to my tea and bluegrass gospel playing sweetly from my little Bluetooth JBL speaker 🙂 Have a nice evening.
Sorry, Anthony, I did not mean to disrupt your peace. I merely was stating that both things can be true at the same time. Just like the coin has a head. And that coin has a tail side. Both are on the same coin as a whole.
What’s the old adage that if you talk to inmates in a prison most say they didn’t do it. I suppose our human nature gets the better of far too many of us and we try some smoke and mirror parlor tricks on our minds trying to convince ourselves that we see things well enough to know we are good with one thing or another and most likely deep inside we know different; which certainly means that God knows our true intent 100% of the time and we aren’t getting away with anything except deluding our own minds. Then there are those that like an alcoholic are in complete denial after spending a lifetime of playing this self-induced mind game to the point that now they believe their own Rep and are truly delusional and way down the slippery slope!
That’s some good insight.
Thank you Anthony! I did find the article very thought provoking and relevant! Very important actually, so you did a fine job and do keep those great perceptions of what it means to be living for the Lord and serving Him clearly defined; accepting His will and not our own concoctions of what life should be! This is the flickering flame period, so it’s really not long before that flame is snuffed out and as one man told me once who was very devout, it’s the retirement he’s doing his best to work for now while he has the opportunity. I figure he meant a really sincere heartfelt effort should be mandatory, and not the lukewarm thing that Jesus said is unacceptable; which so many people can get caught up in. Commitment isn’t easy for many folks, especially when they focus on just the here and now to satisfy the gut or ego.
God bless and thank you again.