If perceptions have grown dubious or negative, how do we change them?
I hate it when people draw inaccurate perceptions about me. And even more than that I hate the fact that people’s perceptions about me become their reality about me. This is true even when their perceptions have no bearing in truth.
What a person perceives me to be is who they will believe me to be.
It makes sense. I do it with you too. I read into your facial expressions and your actions or inactions and I draw certain conclusions that shape my perceptions about the kind of person you are. The frightening thing is that sometimes I’m probably wrong and I might be holding inaccurate beliefs about your life and character.
I hope this is what the non-Christian world is doing with us Christians. You’ve surely heard and experienced the grim statistics about how far out of favor Christians are falling with the general population in our world today. You’ve no doubt been on the receiving end of someone’s skepticism or mockery in regards to your claims of salvation or faith.
I really hope the mockery is wrong. I hope we’re not giving anyone in our corner of the world cause to doubt the sincerity and validity of Christianity. When they truly experience who we are, I hope their perceptions change.
Indeed, sometimes that’s the only cure for a false perception.
I am hopefully confident that true Christians will show the world such a blend of winsome grace, earnest conviction, and mobilized compassion that we could never again be perceived as anything less than genuine followers of Jesus Christ.
The Hole in our Gospel Reading Program Chapter Twenty-One: Why We’re Not So Popular Anymore