I’ve heard the word perception lately in conversations.
Non-Christian and Christian conversations.
Perception is a dangerous word.
“It’s all about perception.” one person said
“Oh, that’s just how you perceived them.” another person said
“Over time we can change the perception….” yet another person said
The first “alarm” going off in my mind about the word perception a few years ago when a principal I was under said, “it’s all about perception.” In other words, it’s how we present things to parents that’s important, not the reality of what we are doing.
In the world of psychology, I’ve heard perception thrown around a lot. In this field, perception can be an even more alarming thing. A person with psychological power can play the “perception” card and all of a sudden, truth and perception can become fused. A dangerous, slippery slope.
Recently, I’ve been most troubled by perception being used in conversations among Christians. Only sometimes it comes across as, “what people think”, which is the same thing as perception. Most recently perception was used slanderously, projecting a wrong reputation of a fellow Christian.
This is not of God.
I’ve looked up the definition of perception. (dictionary.com)
- the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
- immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition;discernment:
- the result or product of perceiving, as distinguished from the act of perceiving
- Psychology . a single unified awareness derived from sensoryprocesses while a stimulus is present.
I’ve also done a search of perception in scripture. Guess what? No results. Nada. Nothing. No place for perception in scripture.
This post is being written after seeing people damaged by perceptions imposed upon them by others. While there is some validity in perception as a “sensoryprocesses while a stimulus is present” (that gut feeling we have when something doesn’t “feel” right), things haphazardly perceived cannot be described as truth without doing damage. Serious damage.
I’m wondering is where in scripture the Lord give us permission to impose judgments based on perception? I don’t find it anywhere, yet that is what we tend to do….judge based on perception, slander or gossip instead of finding out the Truth. Somehow, we as Christians can easily find the license to judge based on perception.
We can impose judgment through silence, avoidance, gossip and slander. Any of which are a rubber stamp for, “It must be true.”
But what does the Lord say?
“So then, each of us will give an account to himself to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:12-13.
I am angered today for women who have been damaged because of judgments imposed upon them based on perception, without being asked facts. This was done, in the name of the Church…….
Where is grace? Where is one willing to expose perception blunders, saying,
“The emperor has no clothes on.”
I believe that is what Jesus did. Called a spade a spade, in contrast to the religion of the His day. He said, “Go, and sin no more, your sins are forgiven.”
Truth, not perception.
Grace, not judgment.
Oh, Lord, please speak Truth where the enemy wants to deceive.