Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Nov 4, 2013

Circles of Perception

In the Bible, Satan is called the father of lies. Lying is Satan's MO and one of the primary ways that he works against us, including in our marriages and relationships.

Take a look at the diagram. The innermost circles are the minds and hearts of two people in a relationship. The outer circle is reality or truth. Only God can see reality in a way that is pure and undistorted. The rest of us perceive reality through our five senses and we color that perception with our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This perception barrier is represented by the middle circles.

So, when an event happens, each person in the relationship sees that reality in a slightly different way, filtered through their own perception barrier.

Outside of the circles, Satan is working to insert his lies into our perception barrier. For a believer,
Satan cannot get inside us, but he can influence our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. So, he inserts Lie A into your mind, and Lie B into your spouse's or friend's mind. Now the perception barriers are even more distorted. He orchestrates these lies to work against each other to create the perfect storm. These lies often come in the form of accusations against the other.Thankfully, God, the one who created reality and sees it perfectly is able to insert His truth into our very core, and He is on our side.

Let me give you an example. Mark and Susan have an older car and the expenses for repairs are becoming more and more frequent. Mark believes his family should have a new, dependable car and Susan thinks they should wait until their existing car dies. Mark is motivated by a desire to protect his family and Susan wants to be a good steward of their resources but the Accuser tells Mark that Susan is a cheapskate and Susan that Mark doesn't care about their financial security.

If a situation like this arises, first pray for God's perspective. He sees the situation objectively, with perfect clarity. Then take the time to ask lots of questions before accusing or jumping to conclusions. For example, “Can you help me understand the reasoning behind what you're saying?” “What financial numbers are we looking at?” “Are there options we're not looking at?” Gather all the facts you can and make a list of pros and cons.

As you seek to understand another's perceptions, remember that you are not perceiving reality directly either. As you explore, you may get some insight into your own barrier and see some possible misconceptions you may have that are contributing to the situation.

We want to spend less time convincing and more time understanding. We want the grace to give others permission to have their own perception barrier, to see the world as they do. As we work at discovering and understanding the perception barriers of others, we not only understand another person better, but we understand reality better, seeing it from a point of view outside our own. And maybe we can have fewer, less intense conflicts, and greater harmony.

Sep 22, 2012

A Twist on the Theology of Fear



Evil “spawns” fear … BUT

The swat team raided the crack house with swift efficiency. But even the seasoned veterans were surprised at the tuft of white through the bushes. In the cage that had been her only world for five years, a small dog huddled silently, cringing in the terror of a certain death. It was a terror that even the most compassionate rescuer could not dispel.
As you have probably already guessed, that dog is “Doodle” (the dog we brought home this Spring).
As “children” do – or in this case “furkids” – ;) Doodle taught us an invaluable lesson. In this case, it was a new understanding of the problem of fear vs. trust.
Many times we think of fear as sin – or at least a shortcoming. After all, how many times does the Bible say “Do not fear”? At the very least, fear must cause God to be mildly disappointed.

Fear “Births” compassion in God

When we brought home this dirty little pup from the Shelter, she was basically frozen – just a little glob that you could put into any position without resistance. Scared to death.

A Firefighter -- unknowingly reflecting image of Chruist,-- revives a kitten 


So we cleaned her up and began nursing her out of fear. We gently stretched her comfort zone, patiently coaxing her into trust.
We’ll never forget her first “blitz.” It was the day she finally let loose and ran for all she was worth – her tiny frame in full stride, flying around our big back yard in wacky puppy-whirls and loops.

Wacky puppy-whirls and loops
It was impossible to do anything but throw back your head and laugh with delight at Doodle’s thrill and *pure joy* in her first taste of freedom!!
Dare to imagine that God the Father actually throws back His Head and belly laughs when we finally “get it”!
God doesn’t expect trust. He knows it’s hard to be human because He took on human flesh. No, trust is received as cherished gift … a little bouquet of violets in the dirty hand of a child.

What is your cherished gift of trust to God?
  • Is it the courage to witness to the cashier at Taco Bell?
  • What about the courage to reconcile with that friend or relative when it's just too much trouble and probably won't change anything …
or will it?
  • Perhaps it's to expect respect when you know you don't really deserve respect …
or do you?
  • To face the fear of failure by taking that first baby step toward your dream
Perhaps it's just believing for the first time that God is safe.
That the Lion of Judah sent a
tiny “newborn sheep” to save the world
just so we wouldn't be afraid
~ *** ~
A sruffy little dog comes out of her trauma, filthy and fearful hiding a little lesson from God ...

We are safe
~ *** ~
Perfect Love casts out all fear”
1 John 4:18


Flowers
 

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