Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Does it Mean to "Be Real"?

It seems like everywhere I turn these days, I hear people talk about being real. It almost seems to have become a buzzword in the church today.

But, what do we really mean when we say that?

What do we mean when we say we want to be real? When we say we want people around us to be real?

Do we even all have the same meaning when we use that phrase - assuming others will understand what we mean?

Or are we making assumptions about what others understand our use of the word to mean?

When I think about being real, I think of it as not changing who I am based on the situation. And being honest about how you're feeling and what's going on in your life.

Being real with people and wanting them to be real with us is a great ideal. It sounds good to talk about it. But how practical is it to expect it all the time? Is it realistic?

Are there situations where being real in this manner could be a bad thing? Can we really expect ourselves or others to be real all the time?

Or maybe there's something we can learn from this desire for real-ness?

I wonder if this desire for real-ness comes as a response against a feeling that we have to always put up our best self. Maybe not in every situation. But  you can probably come up with at least few situations where you have felt or feel like there is pressure for things to be a certain way in your life or for you to act a certain way. And we do that when we feel the need.

But we often leave those situations feeling tired or frustrated or both. We don't like putting up a front. So we react be declaring we will always be real no matter what.

I'm not saying being real is a bad thing. It's a good thing. But I think it has to have some boundaries.

There may be situations where we need to be real with boundaries. It's not about hiding how things really are, but about not sharing the details with everyone we talk to.

We need to have people with whom we can share the details of what's going on in our lives, how we're feeling. But in our quest for real-ness we have to be careful not to share too much with too many people.

We need to be real. Whether it's a reaction against situations where we haven't been allowed to be real, or an idea that we're trying to live in our lives, being real is a good thing. But, we have to have boundaries about what that real-ness looks like in some situations. It's possible to be real without sharing every detail with every person we talk to.

What are your thought?

How do you define being real?

 Is it important to have boundaries in how we're real with people?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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