How can two people see the same thing, be in the same situation, listen to the same sermon, belong to the same church, and see things entirely different. The answer is simple. We often see things as we choose to see them.
Tom Vanderbilt explains “top down processing” in his book, Traffic; Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), “We often see a (stop) sign simply because we know where to look for one.” Vanderbilt says we see things we are looking for.
-- Traffic; Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), P.82. Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell
The same thing is true in other areas of life. We see what we are looking for. It is like the pussycat in the nursery rhyme that went to London to see the Queen. Remember? All it saw was a frightened little mouse under a chair. Mice are what cats look for.
Many people, who are critical of the sermon, or the church, are critical because they were looking for something to complain about. When Christ looked at the imperfect church of his day, he loved it.
Ephesians 5:25 (NASB77) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;”