The Danger of Perception (1 Kings 20-21)

Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!” (1 Kings 21:20)

The problem with our perceptions is that they aren’t always right.  In fact, I can think of many occasions when I perceived something quite wrongly.  In my mind, the intentions of the person were even opposite of a true picture of reality.  The problem is that perceptions are jaded by emotion, and we’re always quick to assume the best intentions in ourselves while quickly questioning the motives of others.

King Ahab wrongly perceived Elijah’s role in his life.  From Ahab’s perspective, Elijah was nothing more than a troublemaker and an enemy.  Such a perception was incorrect.  Elijah wasn’t so much opposed to Ahab as he was supportive of the Lord.  The problem was that Ahab’s life was lived in opposition to the ways of the Lord, and his leadership led people away from worshiping God.  Contrary to what Ahab thought, Elijah was all for bringing Ahab to a proper respect of and submission to God.  Unfortunately, Ahab couldn’t move beyond his personal offense at Elijah’s prophecies.  If only Ahab had understood what Elijah was doing, he might have been more receptive.

In your own life, do you rely on your immediate perceptions of people and situations, or do you seek to truly understand the other perspective?  It could be that, with mistaken perceptions, you miss out on what God is trying to do in and through you.

God, please keep me from being quick to judge the motives of another person’s heart.  Let me instead, seek You out when I perceive that others don’t have the best of intentions.  Let me have an open mind and an open heart to learn whatever You want to teach me, regardless of whether or not I like the messenger.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.