In a world where we constantly try to decipher what's real and what's not - who's friend or who's foe, how do we know the difference? Is it a subtle thought, a large gesture, a gut feeling or a sign from God? Sometimes, we ask for things we're not ready to see. Things we can't imagine or plainly don't want to accept.
The word real is used often; the only word used more is hater. Just because someone says something is real, it doesn't make it so. Just because you don't like something, it doesn't make you a hater. It's sad that most people don't know the difference between the two. I've always been told that life is the best teacher and experience is the best test. It’s quite simple.
You live and you learn.
The Serenity Prayer simply states: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. When we're looking for the determining factor of what's real and what's really not, it takes wisdom.
So, what is a 'real one?'
People who love you and have your best interests at heart tend to find ways to let you know. They are sincere. They show you by random acts of kindness without ever wanting anything in return. They tell you the truth even when they know it will hurt, only to build you up and propel you to the next level.
Pastor John Hannah said, "We should be like pitchers and pour into others so they can pour into someone else." That's being real at its finest - giving love, knowledge and a peace of mind with no desire to be applauded. Just doing God's work.
Those who are 'really not' lie and deceive you.
They do things in their best interests despite the effect it may have on you. They are takers. People who always receive from you without ever pouring anything in return. They play off your insecurities to keep themselves valuable to you. Once you identify what's not real, you can change it.
Now, in all cases this may not be easy but it can be done. This is where courage [in the serenity prayer] comes into play. It takes strength and discipline to untangle yourself from bad situations. Honestly, these are the ones that feel so right.
If you believe God is real, then you must know the devil is too!
Do you remember the old cartoons with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? Although it's a parody, this scenario is true. We all struggle with the balance of right and wrong, but real ones will always tell you what you need to know and not what you want to hear. The really nots want you to self destruct because they, too, live in that space.
Misery loves company.
Real ones lead you to salvation. Fakers lead you toward damnation! Truthfully, we must all learn to master our serenity, courage and wisdom.
When the time comes, we’ll know the difference and we can identify who and what is real. The difference between what's real and really not doesn't just apply to people. It pertains to anything that can lead you astray.
Always remember that the really nots are necessary. Without them, we wouldn't know how valuable the real ones are. The old saying goes: Fool me one time, shame on you. Fool me twice, well… you know the rest.
God is love, and love is forever!