Saturday, July 21, 2018

You want me to get real?

While reality television is all the rage right now, it can be a little bit over the top most of the time. No matter the day of the week, you can capture some version of this "watch me make a fool of myself" programming complete with scenes from what we can expect the following week. People have been drawn into to the latest wave of "reality" programming because it gives them a chance to see the "true nature" of how people respond under pressure, how far they will really go when challenged to do what any sane individual would avoid, and just how much 'moxie' one possesses to treat others in ways they never should be treated in a million years. It has the game show appeal of some prize at the end, but it also puts people in the situation where all kinds of pressure emerges and then let's us see exactly how they respond to competition, disappointment, desire, and a whole plethora of pretty serious emotions. The idea is to go through not only physical torture, but emotional highs and lows, all the while allowing the world to gaze upon just how big of a fool you could actually turn out to be!

If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others. (Proverbs 28:26)

Why do we feel the allure to watch this type of programming? It is kind of simple really - we want to see the "raw truth" of how human nature responds - the word 'reality' is part of their name because it exposes the 'reality' of just how low we can go. We are curious, in a kind of sick way, to see if someone will "crack under pressure". We might even compare ourselves with the person featured on the show, finding that we either admire them for their response under pressure, or we find all manner of fault with their behavior. We sit before the TV, removed from the events, yet we "think" we know what they are going through - acting as judge and jury, we 'pass sentence' on their manifest behaviors. There is another "show" we taken in everyday - the "show" we call real life - the everyday stuff we encounter in keeping a home, working a job, and getting to and from wherever it is we need to be going. We observe others, even ourselves, and make all kinds of judgments about each and every response our eyes observe. Heed the warning - if we think we are in the position of knowing it all, we need to be very careful! That is actually a place of extreme personal bondage - it is easy for a know-it-all to be tripped up, duped into many an action that may have a pretty awful consequence, and engage in many a debate it would have been much wiser to have avoided. "Real survivors" learn wisdom from others - not because they have experienced it all themselves.

Sometimes our response to life's challenges leave others wondering if they would act similarly
 in the same circumstances, but there is more to what they see than that outward response we let them see, isn't there? It can take years to get to that response of forgiving when wronged, choosing to hold our tongue rather than responding in hostility, or to choose the path that affords the greatest resistance even when easier ones are right there in front of us! It takes years of observing those around us - of seeing how others respond in like circumstances. It also takes years of us seeing how our responses truthfully affect others! If we want to be "real survivors" we will open ourselves to the learning of wisdom from those placed within our lives - believers and non-believers alike. Each affords us an opportunity to learn the lessons of life that God so earnestly desires we will "get" some day. We need to become observers of the reality right there around us - in the relationships we form, the ones we avoid, and the challenges of each of these. In those learning moments, we gain wisdom - if we are open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. If we are closed minded (a fool), we will just make the same compromises/mistakes over and over again. The "reality" will continue to happen until we own up to our need for God's wisdom worked out in our daily walk.

Today, if we find ourselves in the position of "reality show" repeats in our daily walk, perhaps it is time to "change the channel" and embrace what God would want to teach. Our new-found wisdom could change the course of our life and give another the opportunity to see some 'truthful' form of reality! Just sayin!