If you’re on social media at all you’ve no doubt heard of #thedress.
Did you see it?
Let me rephrase that. What did you see?
That’s the question.
I saw white & gold, almost exclusively. My husband saw black & blue, exclusively.
That seemed to be the common theme in households across the online world. An argument ensues over what is true because we perceive things differently.
Oh my word, I can’t count the number of times this has happened in our own home.
When I looked at the dress for the umpteenth time, I began seeing white & gold as I did every other time. Then, the colors literally changed before my eyes. It turned black and blue while I stared it. Surreal. It reminded me a bit of those changing color markers my kiddos had.
Immediately, I saw the correlation between this crazy perception phenomenon & faith. So I did what I do; I wondered.
How many times are we certain something is true, when really we only understood the truth partially?
How many times is our perception still lacking total truth even though we continually seek to perceive better?
How limited our human perception is.
How greatly we we need His perfect understandings over our faulty ones.
We see life modified by external factors mixed with internal brain functions. We determine our reality based on our feelings & circumstances, based on what we perceive and what we think we know.
God says, my reality is truth. My reality is the standard.
Facts may be readily available before us but based on our preconceived notions, our predetermined mindsets and the lies of the enemy we are too often blinded to the very truths of God, including His character & His ways.
We need eyes of faith to see Him beyond our circumstances.
We need eyes of faith to see beyond the devastations of today to the hope of our future glories.
We need to know some things about truth to shape what we believe about living by faith.
1. Truth is true, regardless of how we perceive it
While we may see things differently from one another, or even change our views a decade from now, truth it true no matter what. God’s word is truth and it never changes.
So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’swill, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. – John 7:16-18
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. – John 17:17
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
2. What we think we see isn’t always what is true
What about the spinning dancer? Do you remember her? To some she turned clockwise, to others she turned counter-clockwise. I watched her switch back and forth while others in my family, who were watching at the same time, saw her spin the opposite direction. Then as I watched, she would change from one direction to another.
The dancer didn’t change but, like #thedress, what our brain’s understood did. (I wonder, what if the spinning dancer wore the dress? Oy, my brain hurts now.)
Our day to day realities are based on factual circumstances, but we don’t always see the direction they are going either. We tend to perceive trials and suffering as something to be tossed aside & immediately gotten rid of when in fact God may be allowing them for our greater good.
We can’t see the truth of what He is doing. We can’t understand His ways which are infinitely wiser than our own.
We need faith to trust His truth.
3. We need God’s help to see clearly
I’m currently reading in Key Wytsma’s new book, The Grand Paradox, and he reminded me of this verse in scripture.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. – Corinthians 13:12
Ken tells us that in those days a mirrored reflection would have been a minimal representation of the actual person because it was made of bronze. Today we see a clearer reflection, because of improved materials, but still we do not see a completely accurate or full representation of who we are.
We need help, friends. All of us. Not just the white & gold’ers, but the blue & black’ers too. The whole truth is more than what we see & understand. God is more than we can comprehend with out finite minds.
Oh, how much we need the Lord to open our eyes more and more.
4. We need to season our responses to others with love & grace
No doubt, if you and I sat around a table and visited long enough we would find differences in our beliefs and values. On some points, we might hold starkly different views. The fact remains that truth is true, regardless of how we perceive it.
While I hold strong beliefs over various hotly debated topics which I don’t believe will change, one thing that has changed is how my heart responds. Initially, my fleshly desire is to respond with an attack or assualt, usually mentally and internally if not all out verbally and forthrightly. I often don’t because I don’t like confrontation, but the Spirit also cautions me.
The Holy Spirit challenges me to take the time to understand additional factors before responding. At times, I just need to listen, pray and only respond if asked. I’m not to back away from truth, but to care for others in how I respond to the differences in our perceptions.
I think a lot of us would benefit from taking the time to listen & consider alternate views. Then take it all before the Lord, seek out His word and pray for His truth to be revealed.
Case in point, #thedress. It’s totally white & gold y’all. But, I’ll consider your input and seek a source for truth.
Ultimately, to live by faith, we walk with the one who sees things 100% clearly.
May I leave you, and I, with this reminder.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
with love, Jolene