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- June 23, 2016
- Lori Travers
My husband and I had an argument a few nights ago. Well, to be honest, it was more of a fight..you know the kind…”you ALWAYS!”…”you NEVER!!” Then a few sarcastic one liners pertaining to our family of origin were thrown in there. As I watched my husband’s caged- animal expression and perceived my own fight or flight response, it suddenly dawned on me that he had no idea what I was trying to say, and I had no clue as to what upset him.
Our perceptions were skewed.
In my 33 years of being a Christ follower, I now realize that so much of what I believed to be “walking with the Lord” was more like groveling in His dust. So many years had been spent trying to “get it right”, be a good soldier for the Lord, and cleaning up my act. I would look at the women in the church and try to be like them. My square peg personality just didn’t fit into the round hole expectations I put on myself. I tried not to be so loud and, well, so extroverted. I tried wearing those more sophisticated styles, but my arty-tomboyish style seemed to win out. Then I felt left out. And the “King James Version only” crowd left me with no other option than to grab The Message translation so I could understand all those 1600’s expressions! I was a rebel that simply couldn’t be redeemed.
Church-hopping did me no good since I kept taking me everywhere I went. And me had a perspective of God and church that was based on wrong perceptions of God and the church.
Being raised in legalism at its finest, I saw in my mind’s eye a God who was waiting for me to fall so He could condemn me. I saw Christ on a cross but was never enlightened as to how this devastating event applied to me. I thought Holy Spirit was some ethereal ghost that floated around just to spook me! My perspective…the point of view that was learned as a child…caused my perception of Christianity to be deeply flawed. What clued me in that something wasn’t right here was the constant nagging in my soul, “have I done enough?”…”will God accept me?”…”am I gonna make it??” I never had a sense of security. But isn’t that what a good Father would want for His kids…a sense of security?
So, as time went on, I moved on. Praying for clarity and to sense God’s love (He IS love after all, isn’t He?) I landed on materials that started to change my perspective. It began with “Becoming What God Intended” by David Eckman, followed by Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning, then Free Yourself, Be Yourself (formerly Shame Off You) by Alan Wright. These were soul-searching books (and workbooks) that helped me discover the Father love of God. And, oh boy, did I need my Daddy’s love! My perceptions of God were changing and so was I! The more I was enamored with His all-consuming love, the closer I wanted to be to Him, which led to a joy I had never known. Now I want to follow Him not out of dread of His refining fire, but out of gratitude for His consuming love!
Here’s a few more recommendations to help shift the paradigm:
~Get to know the heart of God. It is surprisingly seen throughout Scripture.
~Stop reading the Word as if it’s purely an instruction manual. See it as a personal love letter.
~Stop. Just stop being so busy. Take the time to think about what system you are following and why you are continuing on this path. (fear of losing friends?)
~Humble yourself to admit you have perceived wrongly.
~Ask your Father to adjust your wrong perceptions of Him. He would be delighted to set you straight.
On a human level, my marriage might continue to have defective perceptions. It comes with the territory. And I desire to change my perspective and get to understand my spouse’s perspective. But on a spirit to Spirit level, the consequences of wrong perceptions are devastating. Give yourself the permission to grow and change.
I perceive that God will do an incredible work.