Did you ever hear someone say “Perception is reality”?
Well, no it isn’t. No matter how much someone insists that his or her perception is reality, perception does not make it real. And, you can ignore “real” reality with a distorted perspective. What you cannot ignore is the consequences of ignoring reality. You cannot ignore the consequences of living with a faulty, distorted, biased perspective.
Now, with that said, perception is important. True perception of real reality will go a long way in helping you flourish and discover happiness. Here are six perceptions worth having. They are worth having because they are really real.
God is in control. Always. You may not think he is in control (but that is your faulty perception kicking in). Read Isaiah 40 to get some better perspective on real reality. That creates peace.
Grace is the heart of God. Always. Again, you may not think God is gracious (but that is your faulty perception kicking in). Grace means that God’s mercy and love and favor and generosity are made available to us, simply because that is who God is, and not because of who you are. That creates joy.
God wins. Read the Book of Revelation (all of it). God will complete the good work he has started in your life (Philippians 1:3-6). You can absolutely count on it! That creates hope.
You can’t do everything. You should not even try to do most things. You have limits. You don’t have to be good at everything you do. You must do the vital things. You will have to learn as time goes on what the vital things are: things like prayer, worship, obedience, service, and the works that God has created for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). But you don’t have to do everything. Relax. Take a deep breath. Don’t try to do what you aren’t meant to do. But do with all your might the things God does want you to do. That creates sanity.
You can do whatever God asks you to do. You can do whatever God asks because he will give you the strength, wisdom, help, and anything else that you need to do what is required (Philippians 4:13). That creates faith.
The grass is NOT greener on the other side. Heck, often it isn’t even grass–just thick weeds! Learn to be content with what you have and where you are as you press on into the future. God is present wherever you are. God is at work wherever you are. Join in with what God is doing (Blackaby, Experiencing God). That creates contentment.
When you have the right perceptions (perspectives) about real reality and you order your life accordingly, you will flourish and find peace, joy, love, hope, and more.
One of my favorite leadership teachers was Bobby Clinton. Clinton noted that the difference between those who follow and those who lead is – you guessed it – perspective. He also found the difference between average leaders and really good leaders is – you guessed it again – better perspective.
Borrowing an idea from C.S. Lewis: What you see depends a great deal on where you stand. It also depends a great deal on what sort of person you are. Perspective matters! Happy, optimistic people will tend to have a different perspective than pessimistic ones.
Real reality is real no matter where you stand and no matter what kind of person you are. But your ability to truly see what is really real will depend on where you are and who you are.
Get perspective – get flourishing! (Bad grammar, but good spirituality.)
P.S. The Bible likes to use the word wisdom for right perspective.
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