Keeping It Real Isn't Really the Point
As I travel, I hear a lot of talk about the importance of being real. We all know of course that being fake won’t get us where we need to go. But with the passing of time, I’ve learned to question whether “real” is, well, really enough.
After I minister, I often hear comments like, “Thanks for being real!” That has always tripped me up a bit. Mind you, I realize this is meant to be a compliment—but a few years ago, I found myself wishing for something more.
I was flying home from a speaking engagement and reflecting on this idea when I sensed the Spirit speaking to me. “Lisa,” He said, “I am looking for something more. You can be a real piece of wood, and when you go into the fire, you’ll come out a real pile of ashes. I am looking for more than real in you. I want to work with the authentic.”
I realized from this that something can be real without being authentic. A copy of a Monet is real, but it isn’t authentic. Authentic items are usually tested at a level deeper than superficial touch.
In areas of our own lives as well, at times something can look authentic and sound authentic, but when we check the references, we realize the truth. I’d guess that some of us who have been called “real” need to be careful we are not just real carnal. I have heard fleshly behavior excused by saying, “Hey, I’m just being real!” Not only is fleshly behavior unattractive, it does not accurately represent our value or the price paid to authenticate us as genuinely His.
Let’s remember Paul’s words:
You have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. Romans 8:12–14 NLT
Through the power of God’s Spirit, we can rise above our earthly tendencies and live as what we now are: children of God. When we live authentically, we should look different than the world does when it acts real. Sound like a tall order? I know living flowers cost more to maintain, but I prefer a single rose over an entire bouquet of silk and plastic. Give me something alive and growing, and let me be part of making it blossom and bloom! Are you with me?
Let’s ask the Father to show us the difference between being real and being authentic. And let’s pray that He will place in us His authentic passion and love for those around us. When we take our standard to another level, we can become people who authentically reflect our God and who He says we are!