“Perception dominates our experience of every person we meet”
Our perception affects every experience in life
Echoes from C. Baxter Kruger
AND every event or situation or place we encounter. We interact with our world based upon our perception of it. We can’t help it.
It seems obvious then that one of the keys to intimacy in our marriages is the ability to revise our perception of one another.
The same is true in science. If we are to penetrate the mysteries of our world, then our perceptions of it must be in constant revision. A radical re-orientation of our minds.
We all have mental baggage that obscures the truth about people places and things by imposing our own ideas upon them. Our ideas and concepts, our categories and assumptions are skewed.
We do this with God as well. That’s why the Bible speaks of repentance.
The crisis of human knowledge lies right here, whether we are talking about two people seeking to know one another in marriage, or a scientist seeking to know the intricacies of the cosmos, or a person seeking to know Jesus the Christ.
If we are to know anything as it is, and have true knowledge of it, we must refine our mental instruments so that they are increasingly appropriate to the thing or person we want to know. Otherwise we shoot our own dreams in the foot.
If we fail to repent/revise our mental baggage we are inerrantly imposing our own alien ideas upon the world and the people around us, thereby dooming ourselves to live in a world generated by our own imagination.
This is disastrous in a marriage! Recreating that person in our own image and relating only to the image we have invented.
In science, the price of imposing our own ideas onto reality is the loss of discovery, with all our immense rewards.
In Christian faith it is the loss of the knowledge of Jesus the Christ.
Forcing our own ideas upon Jesus is a singular disaster, because it is only in knowing the staggering truth about Jesus-who he is and what he had done for and with and to the human race-that we are set free from the bondage of our profound and debilitating anxiety into the freedom to live.
The hope, joy, passion, courage, dignity, freedom, wholeness and fullness we ALL so deeply desire and long for, are the fruit of knowing this man called Jesus.
As we come to know the real Jesus, as he is in himself as the fathers beloved Son and the Lord and Savior of the human race-we will experience a hope and freedom that will inspire us with life and joy that are not our own.
Its like encountering something so breathtakingly beautiful, exquisite and incomparable that we can’t help but sell everything we have just to buy it. Like the merchant who found the pearl in Matt 13:45-46
To remove the pearl from the story is to leave the man with himself, where there is nothing present to rouse his passion, no glorious pearl to quicken his pulse and inspire his soul.
This is exactly what happens when we impose our own preconceptions upon Jesus the Christ. We rob ourselves of “seeing” the pearl, of encountering the one thing in the universe that can quicken us and fill us with the life we do not have in ourselves.
We can’t live on another persons inspiration/encounter of Jesus. We must come to know him ourselves. We must seek him and find him.
To do this we must deal with our personal mental baggage. We must become aware of our habits of thought and examine our inherited ideas; which have shaped our perception of God.
This in itself is painful and costly, but it also runs the risk of exposing the wrongheadedness of cherished notions. In marriage, to acknowledge our baggage means running the risk of exposing family patterns that the family may prefer to keep swept under the rug.
In Christian faith, to examine our mental instruments, to bring our habit of thought, our ideas and categories into the open is to run the risk of revealing the inadequacies, or folly of our inherited theology.
To follow Einstein is necessarily to call Newton into question. But Newton was no small man on the periphery of Western thought.
As Jesus asked “What do you seek?”
It’s THE question we all face:
In those seeking marriage, each new generation of scientists, and each new generation in the church.
What do you seek translates into:
Is it real relationship that you want, intimacy? Is it life that you are after?
Are you prepared to do what is necessary to find what you want?
Like it or not marriage, science and theology live by repentance. We must be willing to rethink everything we thought we knew.
This is the only way we will be able to see more clearly which brings the liberation and joy we so deeply long for.
The price of Jesus, as C. S. Lewis says, is to want him. The price to want him is the willingness to have our minds converted.
Do we want the real Jesus or the one we manufactured in our own imagination through ignorance?
If not, than Jesus will forever fail to deliver the life we seek, just as a fake pearl would fail to take our breath away”.