Have you ever heard someone referred to as the “Real Deal?” What did that mean to you? That they were authentic? People of their word? Transparent? Well, it means all of that and more.
When someone is the “Real Deal” there is no hypocrisy. What you see is what you get. They are people who are comfortable in their own skin. They have no pretenses. They are people you can trust. They don’t judge others. They understand and acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses. They forgive freely and often, because they know how much they have been forgiven.
So here is the question: in a world where everyone seems to want to fit in and be accepted, how do you become real? This past week I was consoling a 4th grader. He was sitting in class with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was obviously upset, so I asked him what was going on. He said that some of the kids were spreading rumors that a girl had dumped him! I had to laugh. He is in 4th grade, for Pete’s sake! I said, “Buddy, let me point out a couple of things for you to think about. First of all…there will probably come a time that you do get dumped by a girl. It happens to most of us. That is not the end of the world. Secondly, if what they are saying is untrue, what does it matter to you? Don’t let what other people say or think control you. You know the truth in this case, so just brush it off. Let it go. It does not matter.” I saw him later that day and he seemed to be in much better spirits. Hopefully he took to heart my advice.
We all have a desire to fit in and be liked. The problem is when we allow what other people think or say about us define who we are! We have to KNOW who we are. If we believe what the Bible says, then we know who we are in Christ if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. The Bible says that we are NEW creatures in Christ Jesus. We are no longer slaves, but God’s children. Our minds have been transformed to the image of Christ. That gives us a new identity that is not blemished by our past failings or future missteps. How cool is that? We are in the family of God. We are joint heirs with Christ. We have nothing to prove to anyone. It frees us to be who God created us to be: a reflection of Him.
My hope and prayer is that we can be the “Real Deal” when it comes to being authentic Christians. It is not about rules or religion. It is about relationship. To be the “Real Deal,” we simply have to get real. It starts with getting real with God, then with ourselves, and lastly with others.