March 13, 2022

Day 39: Perception Isn't Always Reality

Read Psalm 72-73

Perception isn't always reality. One Sunday morning a father was on the subway not paying attention to his two kids who were running all over the place. A lady also on the subway got increasingly more annoyed. She thought to herself, "Why doesn't this dad take care of his kids? They're bothering everyone. What a lazy, lenient parent."  Finally she couldn’t take it anymore and said to the dad, "Why are you so rude. Why won't you take care of your kids?"

The man looked up, tears strolling down his face, and said to the lady, "I'm so sorry. Their mom just died at the hospital and I haven't figured out a way to tell them." Embarrassed and ashamed, the woman replied, "I had no idea. I am so sorry."

Perception isn't always reality. That would be a great description of Psalm 73. The psalmist's attitude in the first sixteen verses, based on his perception, was pretty pessimistic. I mean, look at v. 13... "All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence." Translation: What's the point of being holy? Boy, what a "Debbie downer".

But something significantly changed his perception. It's recorded in v. 17, "until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end". When he met with God in worship, it changed his understanding. He was reminded of how it all ends: The good guys win! The rest of the psalm is anything but pessimistic. Verse twenty-four is just one example of the joy that rushed over the psalmist after time with God in the sanctuary: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.”

Perception isn’t always reality. But the guarantee of a proper perception can be found in the presence of God. The psalmist discovered it and so can we. We don’t worship at an Old Testament Temple. But faithful participation in a local church can help us have a Christlike perspective of life. And taking time each day alone with God can help us see the big picture, a reminder that we are on the winning team.

Are you taking time daily to get alone with God? Are you plugging in to a local church worshipping God each week?

What perception might need some adjusting in your life? Bring it to God in prayer.

Prayer for the day: “Lord, better is one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere. You have all things in your hands God, so help me rest in you. Help me prioritize time with you and help me see the greatest of your glory, God. Amen.”

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