“You always looked so put together. I didn’t know if I could talk to you or if you would be nice,” said one lady.
The other woman, replied in a similar way, “I wanted to talk to you too but I thought you were…”
Looks are deceiving. That’s all I could think as I sat there listening to these women share perceptions. It seemed, now, they were surprised by how relatable, real, and easy it was to be together. They were becoming fast-friends — all because they got a real chance to know each other, rather than to think things about each other.
How often do we allow what we think we know hold us back from what is truth?
I perceive a lot of things about myself: I haven’t done good at this. I didn’t succeed at that.
I perceive things about people too: They think this about me. They are doing ___. They must want ___.
Yet, like these women, thoughts not founded in truth, hold me back from real things — real relationships, real progress, real breakthrough.
Look at what happened to Elijah in the Old Testament because of his perceptions…
“Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10)
Elijah was right in his statement. He did served the Lord “zealously” and the people of Israel had “broken their covenant”. But, what He didn’t perceive right was that he was “the only one left”.
He allowed his loneliness and his discouragement cloud his eyes. Others had been faithful too.
Soon after sharing this with the Lord, God told Elijah, “anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” (1 Kings 19:16).
I wonder if Elisha’s perception of his situation led to the culmination of his ministry? One can wonder…
But, one thing I do know is that I don’t want to let — things that appears to be — take me down. Do you? Things are not always what they appear.
Just like your rear view mirror says, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear,” objects in our life are not always as we see them.
Where have perceptions prohibited you from real relationship? Where are you thinking you are defeated, when God had not declared that over you? Where are you thinking thoughts about others that you don’t know to be true?
The easiest way to get rid of a lie is to repent of it and replace it with God’s truth — then you will be back on the path of life again.
Prayer: God, we don’t want any lies to hold us back. We only want to live by your truth, love by your truth and praise you with truth. Help us this way. Forgive us in any way where we have spoken, thought or carried lies about ourselves or about others. We ask you to give us your thoughts and your heart to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.