• Brad Kirby

Perception Is Not Always Reality


Have you ever heard the phrase “perception is reality?” Some of the greatest human thinkers have ascribed to this thinking. Douglas Adams stated, “Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.”


It is the idea that it doesn’t matter if something is intrinsically real or true, it only matters if we perceive something to be true. It doesn’t matter if something is real or only perceived because our behavior will not change. Whichever way you perceive things to be, must be true for you.


This idea is NOT accurate concerning God. Jesus makes it clear that He is the truth. (John 14:6) It does not matter what your perception is of Him; it does not change that reality. Just because I have a certain point of view or perspective does not make it correct. We have a great enemy who likes to use this to lead us away from full devotion to Christ.


He often dupes us into believing that we can find happiness, joy, and fulfillment in large homes, big bank accounts, sophisticated degrees, and fine clothes. The world perceives things this way. It is based almost entirely on our senses, but not everything we see is what we get.

We can have wrong perceptions that lead away from reality and truth. The wrong perception believes that anything other than God can make us ultimately and truly happy and give us fulfillment in life.


Solomon wrote endlessly about this in the book of Ecclesiastes. A life that pursues happiness and meaning apart from God is meaningless. The life that we are made to pursue is radically God-centered and found in Christ. This is exactly why Paul encouraged the church to “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 4:18