The Lens on our World

Perception is the point at which the reality becomes subjective to the circuitry and data configuration of the receiver. In simple language, the received information through the eye; or figuratively the ability to take in external information from our 5 senses and process it in some fashion that can be interpreted by the individual.

At that point the there are so many different directions that things can go. Truly “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and so is reality. Why does one person look at a situation and see things very clearly and another looks at that same reality/situation and looks at it so clearly different.

Expectations, preconceived notions, media driven impressions, stereo types, prejudice, narcissism, self defamation etc; all can be on the “Mother Board” of our minds. All this sounds breathtaking to consider how do people ever see things remotely in the same way?

A large part of how this is done is through the language of culture. Those who share the same cultural lens are more likely to view or perceive their world in a similar way. The cultural lens is a way to quantify the interpretation of our world or is to reveal a” World View”

There are so many factors involved in perception. God’s word looks at it this way when we talk about perception. As spoken of earlier, the Eye is the focal point of our reality and defines the presentation of the information received. The Eye is more than just the cornea, lens, retina and optic nerve. The Eye or perception involves the brain the memory the physical/mental health, soul (mind, intellect, and emotions) and most importantly the spiritual wellbeing of a person.

As we understand perception we can see that the light of God has the potential to shine brightly within Christians and specifically within our perception.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Matthew 6:22

Now, the word single was translated from a Greek word meaning literally to be un-braided, or un-twined with others. In other words, He is telling us if thy eye is singularly focused, then your light will be great, and then he says… 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. And the Greek word for evil is poneros which means full of labors and annoyances. In other words, so full of distractions, that there is no focus.

In light of all of the numerous information stated earlier, which cloud our perception or color our lenses it is apparent that human nature’s perception is full of labors and annoyances. Combine this with the imagination and our view of situations and each other are never accurate or fair unless we allow the Spirit of God within us clear our clouded lenses.

God loves us and will continue to love us eternally. That doesn’t remove the fact that He will hold us accountable for our actions. Yet we must allow His unconditional Love to move us to view each other and handle our interactions with one another with that same unconditional love. This Love is, for no other reason than, to show that we respect the fact that all of us were created in God’s image.  

“If anyone boasts,” I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both;” 1 John 4:20, 21 The Message (MSG). 

Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight,” the old song says. All ethnicities represent more shades of the glory of God and they all reflect His glory brilliantly. When we speak of perception in human relationships let’s adopt the Jn 3:16 World View Model

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)

Before we pass this off as another surface level Christian unity pep talk, let’s take this a little deeper and look at why people including Christians seem to have so much trouble separating their individual cultural lens that they look through from the reality of the connectedness of all people i.e. flesh and blood. First it must be recognized that those same distractions of human nature find league with others of like mind through the convenience of familiarity.

The familiarity of those like us does not allow us to be pushed to the point of discomfort and ultimate change and growth. Like a woman in labor, if not for discomfort (pain) the growth of new life would never come. Jesus suffered on the cross and out of that came the growth of a new creation called the Church.    

Electricity, water and human nature have this in common; they take the pathway of least resistance, concerning the latter especially in the area of relationships. Flaws of human natures perception make us fight the battle between the flesh (human nature) and the spirit (God’s nature). Galatians 5:16 has a strong key of enlightenment to deal with this struggle.

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

Galatians 5:16-18 The Message (MSG)

By Kevin K. Robinson

Founder and Executive Director of Accord1

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