Whose Reality?

Reality… My mom use to say to me often, “You need a good dose of reality.” She was so right! It’s interesting how one can think something is reality and then one’s eyes are open and they realize that _______ (whatever it may be) is not reality at all. I have my own reality and my reality is not your reality. I have said this in conversation, and it’s usually because I do not accept what the other is saying.

So what is reality? Google explains that reality is the state of things as they actually exist rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Reality is also defined as actuality rather than what one might perceive it to be. Reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. In the Dictionary, it states reality to be a real thing or fact. My favorite meaning of the word comes from a Philosophy Dictionary…something that exists independently of ideas concerning it, or something that exists independently of all things and from which all things derive. Reality is truth. Whatever I believe to be true is my reality and will be how I will live my life. I must ask myself, “Is my reality mine or it is God?” Every definition of reality points to God who is Reality. Every synonym of reality points to God. God is Totality, Truth, Being, and Absoluteness.

John 14:6 says:

Jesus answered,” I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Reality is everything that is and has been, and God is, “The Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

I have been battling some issues in my personal life. And I asked the question, how can I honor God, honor my family, and honor the one who I feel has wronged me? The answer is reality!

Am I being truthful to God, myself, and those around me?

John 8:1-11

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts; where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I cannot condemn others when my life doesn’t line up to the truth. I can quickly look at another’s life and think, “wow, how do they not know?” But as I write this, I quiver, thinking of how many times someone has looked at my life and thought the same thing. Not because they were condemning me, but because I didn’t see the truth before me. When circumstance and life doesn’t go as planned, I begin to make excuses and complain in such a way where it is always someone else’s fault. When the reality is, as Jesus illustrated in John 8:7, if any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. In all circumstances, I must ask myself, am I without sin? I find myself reacting to situations, which lead to counter reactions which cause me to continue in a vicious cycle of thinking; it’s always someone else’s fault. I never accept the reality of it all. It isn’t until all the dust settles and when I am alone that Jesus asked the question as He did to the adulterous women, “Women, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” No one, sir,” she said. Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

This parable is two-fold it looks at those who are condemning and the one who is condemned. Both are at fault. You want to stop the cycle, then put down your stone and walk away. When you walk away and no longer condemn, you have freed yourself. And the reality of the situation allows you to learn and grow and move forward. On the other hand, you want to not be condemned and chastised then go now, and leave your life of sin.

God does not want us to continue in these cycles. He says in Deuteronomy 2:2-3,

“Then the Lord said to me, “You have circled this mountain long enough, now turn north.”

To accept reality is to turn; turn from sin and turn from self-righteousness. I need to read the Word of God, that is Truth, and then live my life to that truth. I shouldn’t read the Word of God and manipulate it to fit my truth. This only feeds my own appetite and I not only deceive myself but those around me. Think for a moment of how different life would be if we actually rejoiced over those who are obedient and walk in Truth instead of condemning and mocking. God knows and we know, no one is perfect, but let’s celebrate those who, as much as possible, are obedient and do good. It would encourage others to follow along. On the contrary, we cheer on evil and curse good which encourages evil. Let our reality to be: obedience to God’s Word and to do and know what is good. Paul has the same plea at the end of Romans:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:17-20

I want you & me to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The only way is to know God and by doing so, we know reality. When we understand that our reality is God, this changes how we live and unleashes the power to be obedient and good. I pray my reality, your reality, is rooted in God, the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is and was, and is to come and who will crush Satan under your feet! Grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

 

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