PERCEPTION and OPINION

machine-1776925_1280© 2018 Bill Murphy

Newton’s third law of physics states that: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The output reaction force can be readily calculated by knowing the force of the input action as stated in the measurements of mass (weight), speed, and the direction of the force.

It would appear that Newton’s law can also apply to HUMAN interaction. Some call this karma. However, the input and output forces in human interaction are not as easily calculated, owing to the vast amount of variables which always occur with human interaction. Perhaps the greatest of these variables is PERCEPTION.

The word ‘perception’ has its root in the word ‘perceive’ which usually refers to perceptions in vision. However, one can also experience perception in all of the human senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing as well as sight. Perception is basically defined as : a mental image of something, or your personal concept of something.

The origins of opinions lie in perception.

Perceptions are not necessarily true and factual. Perceptions are based upon past experience and or beliefs and personal observations. One’s concept of what is true reality, by nature of its origin, is susceptible to change and modification.

A personal example: The commonly accepted opinion is that paper mills stink. I, on the other hand, based upon pleasant and happy memories from my childhood, of visits with my favorite aunt who lived in a paper mill town – love the ‘pleasant’ aroma of a paper mill. My perception has become my opinion.

Perceptions vary widely from person to person and from item to item. It’s much like attempting to define what is ‘up’ and what is ‘down’ or what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘cold.’ Because these are relational items, they are perceived differently from one person to the next. It is therefore impossible to judge which perception (which opinion) is more or less ‘correct’ than the next. We tend to accept the ‘average’ or ‘norm” of an opinion as being as being ‘correct.’

But truthfully, in the arena of perception and opinion, few things are absolutely ‘correct.’ What is too loud for me can easily not be loud enough for others. What may be too salty for you, may not be salty enough for me. And abandoned soft drink soon becomes ‘hot‘ whereas the forgotten cup of coffee beside it has become ‘cold.’ Perception is important!

This does not mean that I am wrong (in my perception/concept/opinion) and you are right. No! Neither does it mean that I am right (in my perception/concept/opinion) and you are wrong. It does mean, that these divergent perceptions are just that – opinions.

It has been said that we all have a right to our opinions, and that may be true. But rights, MUST have certain restrictive limits, otherwise, my ‘right’ could trample over yours, and yours could trample mine. A degree of give and take is required to maintain peace, harmony, and goodwill.

Yes, we all have rights. But all rights come with responsible. And here lies the roots of discord, resentment, and misunderstanding. Many find it difficult to recognize the fact that others, with perceptions other than their own, have a right to those personal perceptions. And some, who believe their own perceptions to be superior to those of others, discount the perceptions and concepts of others – based purely upon their personal opinions.

This is the result of personal opinions crossing the line from observations, concepts and opinions – and becoming judgements. And we know what God says about judgement.

 

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The Banana Principle

Bananas copy

PLAN B – The Banana Principle © 2017 Bill Murphy

I’m sure you’ve shopped for bananas at the grocery store only to find two types remaining: those so green and crisp you’d need a steak knife to cut ‘em, and those so mushy and brown you could eat ‘em with a spoon! What’s happened to the good ones?

The Banana Principle, that’s what happened!

The first Banana Principle is: when given our choice, we want our pick of the best.

The second Banana Principle is: We usually don’t truly understand what really is best.

The third Banana Principle: I’ll cover that later.

The First Banana Principle When given our choice, we normally to want the best for ourselves. Go ahead, admit it. We all think like this, don’t we? Is this a really BIG sin? I mean, BANANAS?

Whether we’re shopping for bananas or considering the will of God, we’re influenced by two concepts: perception and reality. With banana shopping it’s really no big deal. But when considering the will of God, it’s a very big deal!

Perception is how we perceive things to be – how we think and believe they are. Perception is purely INTERPRETATION.

Reality however, is just that: reality is what is REAL, what is factual, what is actual, what is true.

A perception may be the same as the reality, it may be altogether different (even opposite) or it may contain portions of a reality. But, our lives are so strongly influenced by perceptions that we’re fooled into believing that our perceptions ARE reality! And this causes us untold heart-ache, grief and endless trouble!

Wanting the best bananas is obvious. But wanting the best from God is something else altogether!

Fact: God wants only the very BEST for us!

Fact: If we want what God wants, then we (by default) want what is best for us also!

Yes, it’s true that God only wants for us what is BEST for us! So how can I convince you of this fact? Chances are that I can’t! Satan is the best salesman ever – he’s had millennia perfecting his sales pitch. Satan can sell refrigerators to Eskimos. And he sold mankind the outright LIE that God’s will is not in our best interest. If I cannot convince you that God wants the best for you – scripture can!

Jesus tells us –“… what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7: 9-11

This refers to asking things of Him. But we don’t even have to ask to receive ‘good things’ of Him. I like the way The New International Version says it:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:14-17

Remember the THIRD Banana Principle I mentioned?

This Third Banana Principle is that we have a CHOICE! We have the God-given ability to pick and chose which bananas we want.

This ability to pick and choose is our WILL. Just as God has a will, He created us with a will also! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

When God created us like Himself (in His image) He created us with a will also. That’s because God never intended us to be ‘little robots.’ He wanted us to have a parent/child relationship with Himself. He wanted us to have the ability to choose to love Him and to trust in Him. He wanted us to have the ability to choose His plan for us, PLAN A. He wants us to use this ability to choose – to choose His will over our own! Why, because He wants us to have that which is BEST!

And this is where Satan steps in. He’s learned to MANIPULATE our personal will through distorting and changing our PERCEPTION of God’s reality. Satan has convinced us that God’s will is difficult, hurtful, and altogether UNDESIRABLE!

Fact: God’s will is NOT a burden! God’s will often doesn’t coincide with our own will, but God’s will is ALWAYS in our best interest!

So what IS God’s will? God’s will is Plan A. God’s will is the First Choice. God’s will is the BEST plan.

 

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