Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Anyone can spot a fake, or so they say.

Being real is a very important value to most people. Most would say they don't want to hang around others who they think are fake or insincere. But that forces us to ask the question, "How real are we... really?"

Being real means that the image you put out to the world is the person you are on the inside. In other words, you're not trying to fit into someone else's mold of you. But who we are and what we want peopleto think we are can often be in conflict.

A girl who is abused, for example, doesn't want the world to know that she is suffering at home, so she puts up a front at school, and wherever she goes in public. All the while she carries hurt inside that no one ever knows about. And that, she thinks, is the easiest way to survive. Because dealing with the hurt inside is just too much. In that time, her self-esteem hits rock bottom, and she may even entertain thoughts of being suicidal.

A guy who wants to be a Christian but also wants to fit into the in-crowd will resort to all kinds of improper behavior in order to fit in. So he might smoke a cigarette, or have an occasional drink at a party, maybe even do inappropriate things with the opposite sex.

Which of these two is real?

Neither. Who they are is determined by their actions. Your actions DEFINE YOU. I've heard it said this way: your thoughts determine your choices; your choices determine your actions; your actions determine your character; your character determines your integrity; and your integrity determines your destiny. So, it is your thought life that determines your destiny in the end.

Being a Christian means letting Christ help you in each of those steps - in your thought life, your choices, and your actions. The thing that God wants most to transform is not your actions. For you can change your actions and not be transformed as a person. God wants to transform your mind - your thoughts - because if He transforms that, then the rest falls into line. That is the essence of being a real Christian - to be daily transformed by the renewing of your mind.