Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Own Reality

[follow-up article to previous post "Get Real"]
The belief that one's own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.   Paul Watzlawick

The beginning of the end ….

It began with one lie.

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. Genesis 3:4

Eve believed the lie from Satan. She believed that she could sin and nothing would happen. She believed that God was withholding something good from her. And she believed that the forbidden fruit would satisfy her fleshly needs, her physically longings, and her desire for importance. And so did Adam, who was with her and also ate the fruit.

Once sin became the uniform of life, man and woman joined the deception team with Satan. When God asked Adam if he had eaten the fruit, shame started the blame game, The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

Transparency and authenticity were discarded for self-protection and self-righteousness. I don’t have stay on that team—God can redeem me!

Appearances can be deceiving ....
How life appears to us and to others can be very different.

For example, children growing up in the same home often have very different views of their parents. Eye witness accounts of the same event can be conflicting.

In a research study, when married couples were asked how long it had been since the last time they had a date together  averaging the responses, the wives thought it had been 12 weeks and the husbands thought it was six weeks.

Which is true?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Marcus Aurelius

Is truth important?

Of course, it is important. But how do I know if what I am seeing or hearing is the truth? Am I letting the truth rule my life or my perceptions rule my life?

I act on what I believe to be true, my view of reality. But I also judge others by what I believe to be true. If “my truth” is based on distorted perspectives, then “my truth” may not be truth at all.

As a person grows up, he will experience emotional pain. As he learns to deal with the pain, he constructs his idea of how life should be lived to avoid pain and have happiness. Those ideas are then put to the test when he enters into adulthood and begins to make decisions on his own. 

Part of what most people decide, at some point, is how much they are going to reveal to others of who they are on the inside. 

How do I want to appear to others? I reveal only those thoughts, emotions, desires, and dreams that I think will benefit my standing with others. 

Children usually tell the unfiltered truth about others but often lie to protect themselves from punishment or disapproval. 

One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences. O. A. Battista 

As a follower of Christ, I can rely on the fact that He is Truth. I believe that whatever God wants for me is the very best, even if the consequences of obedience are uncomfortable or even painful at the time. 

I am to see God’s truth rather than living by my version of the truth. 

God knows my heart and is not deceived by my appearance. 

I can come to Him honestly and trust Him to deal with me graciously and lovingly. I can be assured that as I live according to His truth that my life will be more meaningful and my relationships will be healthier.

See part 1 of this post: "Get Real"