What We See and What We Perceive

Last week, my husband and I slipped away for some time together to celebrate our anniversary. Several times, I observed a family in the hotel restaurant. It didn’t take long to hear the dad “riding” the two children with loud reprimands about the amount of food on their plates, their slowness in eating, spillage, and numerous other normal occurrences associated with young children. Although the mom interacted with the children, she rarely conversed with her husband.

At other times of the day, I saw the mom without husband and children talking to a couple I later learned were her parents. On the day of their departure, the parents hugged their daughter and grandchildren while the son-in-law stood across the table from them. Conversation was cordial, but the dynamic was different.

The combination of what I saw, and heard, caused me to perceive a strained family relationship. My perception may be far from correct, or it may be spot on.

Below are thoughts on seeing and perceiving:

What We See Isn’t Always Accurate

Have you known those who seemed to have a perfect life? You see beauty, wealth, charm, and acceptance, and perceive a life devoid of struggles. Outwardly, it appears they have it all, but, if you could see behind the exterior, would you see strife, discouragement, or depression? Just because we see “put together” doesn’t mean a person isn’t falling apart inwardly.


Perceptions are Influenced by Personal Experience

Often, what we see and perceive is colored by our own experiences or the experiences of those we know and love. If you have experienced rejection, criticism, or repeatedly being left out, your perception is filtered through that lens. Conversely, if you have a history of love, encouragement, and inclusion, you view and perceive through that lens.

Think about what may be clouding your perception and dust off the lens of past experiences for a wider view.

The Role of Discernment and Wisdom

Vision and perception without discernment and wisdom may prove faulty. Beauty, acceptance, and position don’t equal wisdom. The plainest, quietest person in a group could well be the most decerning and wise.

Without discernment and wisdom, what you see and perceive to be the best way forward may be a dead end.

With God’s help, you can cultivate discernment to see more than what appears obvious. With God-given wisdom, you gain beyond-surface vision.

Remember, your perception could be cloudy, so seek an eternal perspective to gain insight and forward motion.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all” (Proverbs 3:5-7a MSG).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.








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