Are You Real?

A bold challenge to be genuine, and a warning against being drawn into a self-created world and identity

Recently Facebook announced their corporate name change from Facebook to Meta. Meta comes from their vision of the future, a Metaverse. What is this Metaverse they are referring to? It is the current Facebook on steroids. Currently, people post on Facebook about themselves, what they are doing, and what they want others to see in their lives. In the Metaverse, you will create a virtual world to live in and interact with other people. You can have different personas depending on whom you relate to: work for your work connections, gaming for your gaming buddies, social for when you hang out with people, and lots more. You can customize yourself and your surroundings in each persona. You can be in classy clothes in an elegant home, you can be a cartoon version, or you can look however you want to. The initial impression is that it is coming straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, but Facebook is determined to bring it to the masses. You can now create and live in your universe--however you want to.

As a Christian, you will recognize many potential issues with this new world. I only intend to focus on one of them in this article. What happens when you live in a world that is not real? What happens when you make up your own world? What if you are not real?

When you stop and think about people creating their fake world to live in and inviting other people into, there are numerous major issues that we can see. As Christians, we can see the dangers of doing that and realize the wisdom of never getting started in the new Metaverse as it becomes a reality. But this maybe a little closer to home than we want to admit.

Are we real with God?

Most of us probably know who Queen Elizabeth is and would recognize her when we see a picture of her, but I doubt anyone of us knows her. Is that how God is to us? Is He someone out there that we know exists, but we do not have a close relationship with Him? Or is He so real to us that if He would “go away,” we would miss Him? Do we tell Him everything about our life, or are there areas that we would rather not discuss with Him because we do not want to hear what He would have to say? Is He so real to us that we naturally discuss all our life with Him without reservation, and He has a profound impact on how we live?

Are we real with ourselves?

Are we telling ourselves the truth about the life we are living? Do we make excuses for the way that we are living? When we evaluate other people versus ourselves, we often have two different standards. We are harder on other people than we are on ourselves. Other people have a fantasy world they live in their heads instead of focusing on being a blessing in the real world. Sometimes we get too busy with life, and we lose touch with our hearts and do not stop to evaluate who we are inside. That is when we start to live a different life than we know in our hearts that we should live or want to live.

Are we real with others?

We all fall prey to this at times in our lives. Are we living a secret life in our hearts that we do not want others to see? Are we hiding sin on the inside while trying to live a righteous life on the outside? Even closer to home, how often do we say one thing while believing another in our hearts because it is more convenient? When other people talk about us, do they comment that we are genuine because they can see we mean what we say and live what we say, or do they feel like they cannot tell who we are?
The more real God is to us, the more real we will be with other people. The more we hide from God, the more we will hide from ourselves and others. The two go hand in hand, and you cannot separate them. Too often, we go through life crafting an external image of who we want others to think we are, when down inside, we are something different. In reality, that is worse than creating your universe on Facebook because you are still living a lie and deceiving yourself.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecc 12:14). God desires a close relationship with us, so close and real that it has a profound effect on our lives. That relationship will create a deep awe of Him that will drive us to obey His commandments. Then when God does bring every work into judgment, we will not have anything to fear because He will be telling the world about the faithful life we lived for Him instead of the sins that we tried to hide from the world.

Are you real, or are you fake?

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Llewellyn Martin
Pilgrim Mennonite Conference

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