Perception Is Not Always Reality


Many times people will use the phrase “Perception is Reality” or “Perception becomes Reality” which is true in some cases; however “Perception Is Not Always Reality.”  One of the most common perceptions about prison is the old “Soap on a Rope” or “Big Bubba” is going to get you.  In other words, many people think that if you go to prison that you are going to get raped.   

I am here to tell you that perception is not always reality.  There are definitely situations in prison where inmates are raped and even murdered; however that is the exception and not the rule.  The same economy of scale applies to outside of the prison walls; you can be raped and murdered in the “Free World.”  There are plenty of willing participants behind the walls, that inmates generally don’t have to force themselves. Here are a few more prison perceptions that are not always reality:

  • Murderers are always the “Mean & Scary guys” (Many times, not the case.)

  • If someone is behind bars they can’t continue to commit crimes (There are networks of criminal behavior behind the prison walls, just as there are in the free world.  You give an idle mind and Satan a bunch of free time… Watch Out!)

  • “They are just claiming God because they are in prison.”  (Many times we have to find ourselves like Jonah, before we get it… remember these guys are no different than many of us, they just happened to get caught.)

What are some perceptions that are not always reality that we face: I’m not good enough, I can’t do this because I’m a female, we will never get out of debt,  I’m to young, I will always be single, I couldn’t be a pastor, my business won’t be successful, you can’t shake that addiction, my marriage can’t be restored….. 


What are some other perceptions that you have about prison?  What are some perceptions that you have overcome as not being reality?  Do you have any other thoughts on Perception & Reality?

  • wow, a couple of those “perceptions” you mentioned at the end pierced me right in the heart!

  • Your blog arouses the following

    There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.(Proverbs 14:12 ESV)

    The “way that seems right” is perception. Every person has their “opinion”. Opinion is rooted in perception.

    As the scriptures affirm (we already know this to be true), our natural perception of our surroundings, relationships, and more importantly, consequences of behaviors will lead to death.

    For those in God’s favor, we can rest in the assurance that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Phil 1:6) “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” Rom 8:28-29

    So what does God’s purpose have to do with our perception? What is my role and responsibility?

    “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

    The “renewal of your mind” is the jettisoning the old prospective that leads to death and transforming it to one that leads to the “will of God”.

  • Concerning prison, soap on a rope, Big Bubba, or as I have heard him called, Benjamin Dover, I think I would try to leverage this principle.

    Two campers are walking through the forest when they suddenly encounter a grizzly bear.

    The bear rears up on his hind legs and lets out a terrifying roar.

    Both campers are frozen in their tracks.

    The first camper whispers, “I’m sure glad I wore my running shoes today.”

    “It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes you’re wearing, you’re not gonna outrun that bear,” replies the second.

    “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun YOU,” he answers

  • Good thoughts Scott… interesting, not shocking.
    There are so many perceptions that hold us back!
    Thanks for the reminder!

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