Monday, June 08, 2009

Perception is reality?

Perception is reality. I have often heard this phrase used as a part of a conversation in assessing a person's veracity or personality.

In conversation with a friend recently, I heard what I felt was a really disturbing comment on the way perception is given so much power in the way people are viewed. For sure, we want to be around people who are charming, well-spoken and in general "present well." Yet, I wonder if that really shares the depth of a person.

I have made many acquaintances, who dress the right way, can say all the right things and even have some talent, but their depth is questionable. The only way to get to the depth of a person is to have conversation and spend time with them.

I was recently reminded of quote that I have used often over the past few years, "God is not necessarily looking for more talented people, or more intelligent people, but deep people." These past weeks I have been in community with some deep people.

Honestly, when I first met many of these people, an unholy sense of superiority came over me. I had to repent of some pride, because I made some judgements on perception. Over the past weeks, I have had opportunity to explore the depths of the souls of these people. Some have surprised me with their depth.

How does this impact our church and our movement? I think that we need deep people, deep leaders who will not be satisfied with the status quo. I submit that we have to look deeper to the heart and to the mind of a person. I would also submit that we can learn much from the dissenters in our midst.

I think that one of the reasons we work so much on perception is that relationships take work. It may mean making our hard positions vulnerable and up for scrutiny. It would may also mean that we as leaders would need to make ourselves vulnerable. That is something that may be the hardest thing of all.

So, is it perception or reality that counts? How can we know the difference? Are we in a perception dominated culture or are we to the point where we make decisions based on strong, deep relationships?

What do you think?


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