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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Get REAL!




Dr. Phil coined the term "Get Real!" when he did a series of shows on Oprah a number of years ago. I admit, I watched a few of them. Well, maybe more than a few! In each show he would dramatize someone's need to look at themselves clearly, see their own flaws, and take strides toward fixing them. It would be all wrapped up neatly within the hour with the assurance that the guest would seek the help they needed and set their sights on a better life. Dr. Phil, of course, was the hero.

During the last 15 years, since I became a follower of Jesus, and especially in the years I've spent in music ministry, I have realized the many ways we Christians are not at all "real". We wear finely crafted masks to cover true feelings; we veil gossip ever so subtly behind statements like, "We need to pray for her!"; we say one thing and yet do another. In reality, we have many of the same flaws within the walls of the church, as parts of the body of Christ, as those outside. And I put myself at the top of the list. It is a daily struggle for me to "Get Real" with fellow believers.

"The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b

For the most part, I think we work with the assumption that people don't want to see us as we really are. It's much more comfortable to hide our failings, our inner thoughts, and put on the face we think is more attractive. "How are you?" really doesn't mean that, does it? It usually means, "Say you're fine so I can pass by and do what I was heading to do in the first place." Am I right?

When we hide ourselves in the fellowship of believers we begin and perpetuate a cycle of dishonesty which eventually leads to isolation and loneliness. I'm sure we've all felt alone in the midst of a crowd. That feeling is magnified when it's among brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we should be able to be open and transparent. If it is true that in Christ we are new creations, yet we still have to struggle daily with this thing we call "humanness" and the sins of our nature, then realizing that we are all in the same boat brings such freedom! There is no need for masks if we accept (and expect) one another's failings and allow others full view of our own.

The biggest obstacle to authenticity in the Christian life is perfectionism. I was a perfectionist long before I was a Christian and I find it very difficult to shed the "old" (perfectionism) even in the presence of the "new" (Jesus). Do you remember that bumper sticker, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven"? That should be plastered on the front of every church! That phrase is not just for the unchurched, to make them see us Christians in a more positive light. It is for those of us in the church who think that we must put our best face on everytime we walk in the building! We are all "cracked pots", yet, miraculously, we hold the water of life. We shouldn't hide the fact that we are merely clay, but instead shout, "I am not perfect, but my God is!"

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
2 Cor. 4:7


  • Do you find that you struggle to be authentic?
  • What steps have you taken to overcome this battle?
  • Find three scriptures that you can profess daily to become more in line with the "Real" you that God designed you to be.


Christine can be found daily at her personal blog:

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10 Comments:

Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I think it has taken time and will still be a process for me to completely be my authentic self. It takes an old soul (young or aged) to have self-esteem and self-worth. Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy and I think The Velveteen Rabbit may have been something like becoming real.
You have got me thinking. Helen Keller said something to the effect that it is only with the heart that one can truly see. Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

July 23, 2008 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a thought provoking post.

July 23, 2008 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Excellent and so true.
Blessings,
Kim

July 23, 2008 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I agree with what you have written.

I find it difficult to find people who want to live in authentic relationship.

I get weary of all the "fluff" around life. Can't we just be real with one another? If we could get past all the fluff we might just find allies to walk the road with. This is one of the things I long for...authentic relationships with others. It's hard to find.

Thanks for sharing.
Julie

July 23, 2008 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Soooooooooo incredible. Wow, will take a while to process all of these great truths. Sometimes, it seems like we spend all this time as a child or as a new believer "learning" how to be a better Christian. So then as we grow and fail sometimes, we feel like we have to hide it because we learned we shouldn't do this or that. Thus leading to the cycle of fakes and frauds and masks. It is only as we mature in the Lord that we learn He wants us to own our faith, to live in His way, but to do so authentically, with His motives at the center of our purposes. It's tough.

Processing out loud. Anointed.

July 23, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

WOW! I may have to chew on that for a while!...Great!

July 23, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Carmen said...

You said it in a word - transparency.
We all struggle with it with each other b/c we struggle with it before the Father.

Hopefully one day real soon, we will all realize it's SOOOO much easier to breathe without the masks!

And don't ya know, when others see us 'as we really are', they'll be more comfortable being themselves...

shalom aleichem!

July 23, 2008 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

I love that "We are all "cracked pots", yet, miraculously, we hold the water of life."

Great thought!! Thanks for this. I try so hard to be the same person all the time. Sometimes, however, my "fake me" shoves me out of the way and takes over!

July 23, 2008 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

say it sista!!!! i TOTALLY get this....and wrote something similar.....

http://theloalbos.blogspot.com/2008/06/no-more-pretending.html

It is difficult for us to break out of the box that "some" religious institutions have put us in. God calls us to LOVE. i am thankful for people like you who hear God so clearly.

July 23, 2008 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I called a friend today. When she asked me how I was doing, I told her.

Horrible.

It wasn't what she expected, but as quick as she could, she asked me how she could help. I told her I needed her husband to come over and "jump" my son's battery on his truck. He was here in 10 minutes.

I love your thoughts on getting real. We've wasted far too much time on pretend. Thanks for the lesson.

peace~elaine

July 23, 2008 at 10:50 PM  

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