“for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.” – Psalm 78:2-4.
‘Keep it real” is defined as remaining honest, genuine, and authentic; to be true to oneself. When someone does not change who they are or what they believe due to societal pressures or someone who maintains connections to their ethnic background in a multicultural environment. Nobody wants to be fake. Rather, we crave authenticity because everyone wants to be real.
Is it enough simply to say we’re real, or should we be able to see we’re real? And if so, what should we see? Are there marks of authentic faith we should see in our lives, or in the lives of others? The Psalms have a lot to say about keeping it real.
The Psalmist pours out his heart to God – his hurts, heartaches, anger, frustration, depression, and discouragement. He’s honest about the times he’s failed, but he also seeks justice and vindication when he’s been wrongly accused, He’s not blind to the injustice and evil in this world, nor the unfairness when evil seems to triumph sometimes or go unpunished. He doesn’t force a smile on his face pretending to be on an “above the fray” spiritual plane. He doesn’t always feel God’s presence or comfort or strength or help. ”When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.” (Psalm 77:2)
The Psalmist also keeps it real about the good stuff, too. He remembers all the times he was encouraged and strengthened by God’s presence, love, and grace. Psalm 78:2-4 is an example. “…we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders” He recites all the ways God has been there for him in the past and how God has promised to be there for him now and in the future. He rejoices in God’s protection and provision — in big ways and small ways. ”He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.” (Psalm 78:72) He praises the life-giving wisdom God has provided for us in His Word.
You become a person of integrity by being real with others. You don’t fake it. You are yourself. You don’t pretend. You’re authentic. You’re genuine. You’re not a hypocrite. You don’t wear a mask and talk a certain way with this group and then go over here and you wear another mask and act a certain way with this group. You don’t act one way in church and one way at work and another way on the golf course or when you’re shopping at the supermarket or whatever. No. You’re always the same. You’re not perfect. You’re not sinless. It’s not that you don’t make mistakes. You do make mistakes. But your heart is in the right direction. And you are real with other people.
That is the way we keep it real.
- What does it mean to you to be real?
- What can we do this week to be more real, more authentic?