Looking at Your Perspective of the World
Our perception is our reality. The way we perceive the physical world directly dictates the standards that we set for it, and sets a fundamental basis for us mortals to form our own unique attitudes, mindsets, and opinions towards it. An individual’s perception of reality is one of the most influential aspects of the human consciousness- it holds the powerful ability to make us who we are, and empowers us to reach for our dreams and attain happiness, success, or basically any innate human need or wish.
At the same time, perception also potentially holds the ability to hinder the acceptance of new knowledge, may impede understanding or care towards particular issues or subjects, and may set a personal boundary that could obstruct us from realizing certain truths and realities. If we become stuck in our pre-conceived ideas towards the world around us, it could potentially blind us (or desensitize us) from our own issues, and may instill indifference or uncaringness toward the many perplexing social ills of society- problems that could slowly be changed little by little with just a change in mindset.
By understanding that our perception acts as a lens through which we view reality, one may conclude that perceptions influence how we focus on, process, remember, interpret, understand, synthesize, decide about, and act on reality. In doing so, our tendency is to assume that how we perceive reality is an accurate representation of what reality truly is. But it’s not. The problem is that the lens through which we perceive is often warped in the first place by our genetic predispositions, past experiences, prior knowledge, emotions, preconceived notions, self-interest, and cognitive distortions.
This leads us to ask ourselves, “Is our perception of the world good or bad?” “Am I satisfied with the way I see the world at the moment?”
The biblical Paul talked about them in his letter to the church at Ephesus, “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Some translations say, “the eyes of your heart.”
Your physical eyes can see one thing but it’s how your heart understands that allows you to perceive the world around you from God’s perspective… or not. Our mindsets will influence how we talk about a situation and the actions that we take. So our perceptions are the starting point of spiritual transformation. You can’t effectively change your language and behavior unless you see the world (and yourself) the way God does. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
If we perceive God as harsh, judgmental, vengeful and all those other damning things that many of us were taught about God, we will, like the man who received one talent, dig a hole and live small. Our reality will be a fearful life, where at best God is someone to save us from our wretchedness. But if our perception of God—how we see God—is that of love and grace and blessing; a God of second chances; a God who is pulling for us, cheering us on, wanting goodness in our lives, then our reality will be a life of fullness, courage, and hope; a life of taking risks for love and compassion and peace; a life that is not small but rather one that is lived believing and trusting that with God nothing is impossible. We don’t have to dig holes and hide who we are.
One great way to change our perception, which might not be reality anyway, is to be in the Word of God on a daily basis. That can change our human perception to a godly perspective. The Word of God has real, effectual power (Rom 1:16; 1st Corinthians 1:18) while our perceptions do not. Maybe that’s why “these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Their perception was changed forever and so were their souls because they began to see the mind of God as revealed in Scripture and the more you’re exposed to the Word of God, the more the Word of God changes your perception…and always for the better.