No illusion here

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. 
(Saul Bellow) 

How much time and energy do people put into creating the 'perfect illusion' in life? In this climate of a fast approaching election season, there are men and women working overtime to create the right 'illusion' of the perfect candidate. I think there are a lot of good politicians out there, but let me just tell you that not all we see in the 'advertisements' are spot on. They are 'highlights' of what they think people want to see and hear, aren't they? They are the 'illusion' - but not always the 'reality'. Let me tell you this - people have a way of creating an illusion a whole lot quicker than they find the courage to be totally transparent.

Live in peace with each other. Do not act or think with pride. Be happy to be with poor people. Keep yourself from thinking you are so wise. When someone does something bad to you, do not pay him back with something bad. Try to do what all men know is right and good. As much as you can, live in peace with all men. Christian brothers, never pay back someone for the bad he has done to you. Let the anger of God take care of the other person. The Holy Writings say, “I will pay back to them what they should get, says the Lord.” “If the one who hates you is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him water. If you do that, you will be making him more ashamed of himself.” Do not let sin have power over you. Let good have power over sin! (Romans 12:16-21)

"Acting" is really the ability to put forward a 'false-front'. When someone is 'acting', they are not being genuine. They are putting forward that image they think you want to see portrayed. If you have ever been part of a stage presentation of some play or show, you study your part. If you studied for the part of the old aunt in the theatrical production of "Arsenic and Old Lace", you wanted the audience to believe you were the old aunt who poisons unsuspecting lonely old men and buries them in the cellar. You studied the part over and over until you perfected the walk, talk, and 'image' you desired to see portrayed. In real life, what is portrayed frequently is not what is the true reality, though. Your 'image' might suggest you are the doting old aunt, but your 'true image' is one of being a cold, calculating murderer!

I know we aren't cold, calculating murderers here, but you get my point. Acting is just that - it is us not being our real selves. We do indeed invest a lot of energies in masking over our ignorance at times, don't we? We don't want others to see we were duped into sin by a very clever set of temptations - so we cover it up a little with some facade. We don't want to admit we are critical of ourselves or others, so we give the illusion of being 'kind and understanding' by saying the right words, but our heart is curdling with envy, hatred, and discontent. Sin gets power over us anytime we spend more 'resources' on creating 'just the right illusion' we are comfortable with others seeing. 

Let us not look at the illusion presented, my friends. Let us look deeper - into the heart and spirit of a man or woman. Let us learn to ask the right questions of each other, so there is no room for 'illusion' to be maintained. This is how we will change our world for the positive. We aren't going to do this with heads buried and hearts tightly closed up. We do it by first acknowledging we don't have all the answers within ourselves to live at peace with each other. We need the hope of Christ living and breathing within us if we are to have the illusions dispelled. Peace isn't an illusion - righteousness isn't a facade. It is either genuine, or it is not. Just sayin!

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