Posts tagged ‘Perceptions’

Opposing Perceptions

My husband and I took a two-day trip down to the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois this past week. On one of those two days, we did some hiking. We wandered deep down into the forest on some trails.

It took probably less than five minutes before we began to feel the heavy weight of thick humidity in the center of that forest, since it had rained earlier that morning. Even though the temperature that day was only in the upper 80’s, in the middle of that forest it felt much, much hotter.

When we emerged from the forest we saw a man who had been biking loading his bike on the back of his car. My husband said, “Sure is humid today!” The man replied back, “Well, it’s better than it could be.”

I thought about that man’s response as we walked back to our car drenched in sweat. He was in the same park, in the same location in that park, at the same time as we were in the park, yet he had a different perspective about the day.

Then I thought about what he had experienced compared to us. He had just been on a bike ride through the park, probably feeling the cool breeze blowing against his face and body (nature’s air conditioning!) the entire time. Yet, we had emerged from the same park as if emerging from a sauna—soaked with sweat and burning hot from the oppressive, sticky heat.

Here’s my point:

So often we think that our perception is the only right opinion, but the truth may be:

  1. We both have valid perceptions and opinions that are vastly different.
  2. We think we are right when, in reality, we are completely wrong.

In our case, we were option number one. But very often I’m fighting for something that is my opinion, but very wrong. I’m not saying all of this to ask you to second-guess yourself, but rather to recognize your limitations. We all need to train ourselves to recognize that our perceptions are not always true or the only reality. The only absolute truth I know of is God and His Word, everyone else has cracks and flaws in their viewpoint.

If you are currently struggling in a relationship, check to see if this may be at least a part of your problem. If it is, remember that you are not alone. We all have limited points of view.

“One of the primary indicators of a character problem is a person’s resistance to questioning his perceptions about his situation or relationships.”  —Cloud and Townsend, It’s Not My Fault