Today I wanted to briefly share something that has been on my heart lately, that is, the natural progression of our perception/perspective and its tremendous influence in our life.
Our perspective/perception is the steering wheel of our lives; it influences how we see, respond, think, and act toward people, places, emotions, situations, God, etc.
After I came to understand how severe this is, I made sure to briefly touch on it and place it within the first couple of pages of my discipleship workbook. It is now a constant mental discipline of mine. Allow me to share what I wrote.
"1. Perception: How we perceive things (see it) will determine how we receive it.
2. Reception: How we receive things (take it) will determine how we understand it.
3. Understanding: How we understand things (grasp it) will determine how we retain it.
4. Retention: How we retain things (digest it) will determine how we apply it.
5. Application: How we apply things (work it) will determine how we live.
This progression is so instinctive that it takes place without our conscious knowledge. It’s a natural progression. One triggers the next. Also, there is a pro and con approach in effect. The pro approach is if we perceive things the right way, then we’ll receive, understand, retain, and apply whatever that may be correctly. The con approach is if we perceive things the wrong way, then we’ll receive, understand, retain, and apply whatever that may be incorrectly. It is for this very reason we have to be careful how we perceive things because our perception has an influential effect on the process of how we apply what we see, hear, read, believe, learn, and think in our life."
We have to renew our mind (not simply the way we think, but even the way we go about thinking—our perspective/perception) or our perspective/perception will conform to anything else but the words, wisdom, truth, promises, and ways of God! Don't let your negative or unreasonable or unbilblical perspective/perception steer you (or continue to steer you) down a path of insensitivity, lack of being objective or balanced, unhealthy communication, false or assumptive judgments and conclusions, gracelessness, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, arrogance, and on this list can go. I have been guilty of these very things because of my perception/perspective, and at times still are. But by the grace of God, the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in my life, and a sensitivity to wanting to obey God's Word and be pleasing unto Jesus, how I perceive/my perspective of people, things, and God has come a long way and so can yours...if you desire to.
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Rom. 12:1-2, NLT)