Get real, would ya?
I love it when I hear someone telling someone else some tall tale, or maybe even semi-accurate story and then the listener blurts out something to this effect.
I think sometimes we are walking around this planet in fear of being truly <em>real </em>- with others, and ourselves. It’s perfectly understandable why we are afraid to be real – because we live in a world where being real can cause great amounts of pain and heartache. If we open ourselves up to others, we risk rejection, gossip, betrayal, slander, false accusations…
“Wait a minute! I thought getting real was a good thing! ”
It is. But it’s also a very risky thing. Don’t fool yourself and don’t let others fool you… tread lightly from this point on – “Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”
Most of us have experienced pain after being open and real with someone we thought we could trust; but alas, we couldn’t. They proved to be unfaithful confidants; untrustworthy counselors; back-stabbing acquaintances. You thought you could trust them with some deeply personal information and it ended up being the case that – you could not. They dropped the ball.
Many of us have learned a terrible lesson about life: those who are willing to betray friends, stab backs, pass along secrets, manipulate relationships or use others for personal gain are often rewarded; they often get the popular vote, the promotion, the social status they longed for.
And a funny thing happens to these people: they think God has rewarded them with for their craftiness and “leadership”. The truth is, Jesus often confronted such folks with stern warnings. But they didn’t like being called out like that; especially from a guy lower than them on the social/political ladder. So, they got rid of him. And you know what? They felt godly and righteous about this act.
I hate to get real like this with y’all, but it’s the truth. After all, this is TRUTHFUL WORD.
And let’s get even MORE REAL, most of us have been guilty of this kind of treatment that God hates.
In Proverbs 6:16, it says “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19) a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
This is a scary list. I can think of many “good people” who have lived a life of some of these things mentioned.
Have you ever considered how God feels when you take advantage of your relationships for personal gain? You may get they promotion. But guess what? That’s all you are going to get. And if your actions hurt others in any way? You will answer to God for it.
“Okay. I get it. Everything will be worked out in heaven. But that’s a long time a way and I have a long life to live, so I think I will just keep doing what I gotta do for me and mine. It’s dog eats dog, Jeff! Nice platitudes, but C’mon – this is the real world, Jeff! Everybody is doing it!”
I know, I know. I told you it wasn’t going to be easy to get real.
You still want to get real?
“What do I get in return for being a weakling that everyone else can run over?”
I don’t know that you have to get run over others when you decide to become real. In the coming posts we will look at all of the rewards for becoming an authentic person. In the end, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
And in fact, in the world of college sports for example, those coaches who decided to become real, found a nice side benefit; their players knew they could trust them. The result – the best players came out of the woodwork and joined these coaches. A few to mention would be John Woodson, Bobby Bowden, Tom Osbourne, Lou Holtz… just to name a few.
Success at the maximum level eludes the inauthentic leader. The same back-stabbing wanna-bee, once they get to the top, they are fearful and resentful of any greatness beneath them or in anyway close to them. (Think “King Saul & David”) They don’t attract greatness; rather, they repel others who are great. They surround themselves with mediocrity so that they can be the standout. Or, they disallow greatness to be seen in their followers, with the result that greatness is never attained, only mediocrity at best. They are quick to dispel any and all adulation toward anyone else but them; because you see: they are totally insecure.
Insecure people cannot be real.
After all, they climbed to the top by creating and sustaining an image (even an image of real-ness, at times) using and abusing those who were more real around and beneath them.
However, if you become a secure person, you will not only have the strength to deal with the occasional side-effects of real-ness, you will begin to forgive and perhaps even correct those who are insecure. It really comes down to what a personal mentor of mine once said, “There are givers and takers in this world, Jeff; which one are you going to be?”
Next time I will talk about more blessings when we become real.
See you soon!