Have you ever heard the phrase: Perception is reality? Most of us have, but have you ever stopped to consider that your perception of a situation, yourself or others may actually be keeping you from your God-given destiny? If that were the case, wouldn’t you want to see correctly so that you could fix the problem and make right decisions? Sure, we all would!
A skewed view
Maybe you are one of those people that is always thinking something bad is going to happen to you. You feel a lump on your body and immediately assume you have developed a life threatening disease. Or you believe that you are going to lose your job simply because your boss did not acknowledge you when he walked into the office. Maybe you believe that others are saying bad things about you for no apparent reason, which causes you to react unkindly to them. Yet if the truth were unveiled, your assessment would be incorrect, even though in your mind it seems very real. Sadly, many people live in a world of perceived reality, which causes them to make poor decisions or react in ways that are damaging to themselves and others. People who continue down this path will live far below their potential, ultimately keeping themselves from God’s very best. Sound familiar?
I know someone named Sally who moved far away from the comforts of her own home to work for an incredible organization overseas. It was her dream. She was tired of working at a mundane desk job day in and day out, knowing that there was more for her to do…something much bigger, much more fulfilling, and incredibly inspiring – she knew that she was born to make a difference in people’s lives!
One day, a friend of Sally’s sent her a link for a job position that resonated with her desire to help people. Without thinking another thought, she applied and God opened the door for her to work for an organization that helps people all over the world. Everything just seemed to fall into place: her financial support was raised, her travel logistics were worked out and her visa paperwork could not have gone more smoothly. God was directing her steps.
Shortly after Sally arrived at her new job, the one she loved and felt called to, insecurities began to rise up inside her. She thought to herself: “What do these new people think of me? Do they like me? Will I make new friends?” As time went on, these feelings became stronger, so much so that she started treating people unkindly because she thought they did not like her. Then she started isolating herself. The thought, “No one likes me,” played over and over in her mind, causing her to retreat. More thoughts bombarded her brain, “I am not supposed to be here anymore. I am in the wrong place! Why did I leave my home where I had all kinds of friends and I felt loved and valued?” On and on these thoughts of negativity went.
Finally, Sally shared her thoughts and feelings with someone she worked with. This mature person shared with Sally how she was seeing incorrectly. The people on staff loved and valued her, wanted to be her friend, and wanted to make her feel welcomed as part of the team! He went on to tell her that God brought her to this organization to succeed, not fail. He brought her there to make an incredible difference, while developing meaningful friendships. A seed of hope was planted in Sally’s heart. “Could it be true? Maybe people were never thinking those bad things about me,” Sally thought to herself. This co-worker encouraged her to step out beyond what she thought people were saying;to get beyond her perception and build healthy friendships with others on staff. After that conversation took place, another staff member called Sally out of the blue. She explained how she would like to go for a walk with Sally. Sally agreed. To Sally’s surprise, this other staff member wanted to be friends with Sally from the very start, but because Sally appeared standoffish, she felt that Sally did not like her. Sally’s perceived reality caused her to retreat into isolation, destroying her chances of making great friendships with others.
Now Sally is thriving and has come to believe with all her heart that God brought her there to succeed. She has amazing friendships and is impacting others in a foreign land. Her dream has come to pass.
Just think, Sally almost gave it all up because she honestly thought that people did not like her. She almost sabotaged her God-given purpose simply because her perception was wrong. Home seemed like the best option for her even though it was the very place she felt unfulfilled and unhappy.
What about you?
Are you letting your perception rob you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life? Has your vantage point been skewed, much like Sally’s was? I encourage you to seek God and let him direct your steps. Push past what you think is happening; seek God and trust that he will lead you, and he really will! He will give you the wisdom and counsel you need to make right choices. Make a determined effort to spend quality time with God. Then you will be able to recognize the lies and cast them down. Your perceived reality will be replaced with truth, which will guide you into freedom and into your true purpose. So be encouraged; you can make it!