The phrase “perception is reality” has popped up on more than one occasion in the last week. I think this idea is a truck load of rotten squid. Perception is perception. While we can perceive a thing accurately, our perception is just that. Perception means, to see (or understand) a thing from a certain point of view. We all see the world from our own perspective. But our point of view should not be held as "reality" simply because we see it that way. More to the point, we should not look at others and decide that, from our perception, they are lacking in some way.
When we look at another person on the journey toward Christ likeness, it is not our perception that matters. The scripture says, “Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4) Our responsibility is not to evaluate, but to encourage, to support; to bear the weakness that may be present. No, of course we should hold those close to us accountable for their actions provided the relationship permits that.
If we are being developed by the continuing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives then we must accept that same process in the lives of others. We are yielded and responsive on different levels in regard to this. Some of us are hard headed and some are hard hearted. Some are open and teachable and some are broken and pliable. Paul wrote, “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Just a few verses later he reinforced this idea saying, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (2:13)
I’ve come to love the music of “The Wallflowers”. While Jacob Dylan is not the poet that his father is, I think he is a better performer and does have meaningful things to say in his music. In a song called, “How Far You’ve Come”, the writer says this;
It's ok to believe that you're not good enough
God is not angry, not blind, deaf or dumb
He knows how far you've come
I think he is onto something. It’s to our Master that we stand or fall. And this is true of everyone else. On the journey toward Christ, reality is what matters. Jesus’ perception is the only reality. “God is not angry, not blind, deaf or dumb, He knows how far you've come.”
Note: The song "How Far You've Come" is from the Rebel Sweetheart album.