How Are You Perceived?

Perceptions, especially self-perception, is one of the most powerful influences in the world.

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Text for Today – Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

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As I see it, there are four legitimate perceptions of any human being today: your public perception, your private perception, your personal perception, and God’s perception of you.  Your public perception is what people see of you in the public arena.  Your private perception is the way you are perceived by your family and closest friends in closed context.  The personal perception is how you see yourself.  We live our entire life with these three, and yet if the three could be compared, there will be differences.  In fact, in some cases, they may not even resemble the same person.

While those three perceptions have differing degrees of importance, the one that really counts is God’s perception of who you are.  Look at Job.  His community and friends thought of him as someone who had achieved greatest success; very wealthy, a community leader, and highly regarded.  In private, he was a very concerned father, especially about his children’s spiritual condition.  Personally, he knew himself to be a man living in fear.  He had said himself, “The thing I feared the most has come upon me.”  Yet in the eyes of God, Job was a “perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.  Four completely different perceptions of one man.

Of the four perceptions, the one which is most important is God’s perception, while it was Job’s personal perception that was shaping his day-to-day life.  God was asked two times about Job, and both times His response was, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is none like him in all the earth; a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.”  Though God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts, the way we perceive ourselves holds more weight in our outcome of life in the earth than even the will of God.  Yet in the Job scenario, God stood unchanging in His perception of Job, despite the devastation of Job’s personal perception.  When troubles came upon Job, public perception changed from a blessed and righteous man to one who had sinned against God.  Private perception changed from a man who loved God to a man whose wife told him to “curse God and die.”  Yet it was his own stubbornly fixed personal perception that governed the affairs of Job’s life until he was powerfully confronted, first, by a man of God, and then God Himself.

Today, take the time to determine what God’s perception of you is, and work with all diligence to live that perception.  Through faith in Jesus Christ and His Word, work to cause your public, private, and personal perceptions of who you are to align with God’s perception.  That’s where His blessings, power, and life are most richly revealed for you, in you, and to you.

Manna for Today – Romans 3:4; Hebrews 1:1-4

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