"Let's be real" I can't tell you where I heard it or why I have been saying it more lately, but I think it reflects my current state of mind.
I highly value genuineness. But, let's be real, I'm not always the best at it. I think we all struggle with it from time to time, especially when that time is not so fun. Maybe that's why this has become a recent addition to my vocabulary. Times right now are not as fun as I'd hoped.
Let's be real.
Things lately have been rough. BUT, there have been so many glimmers of hope. God has shown Himself faithful in the most difficult of times in my life. He has provided for us in ways that don't make sense (like a $300 gift card showing up in the mail, or $1000 in an envelope with Greg's name on it with no note or name attached). God is providing, maybe we aren't where we want to be financially, but we serve a God who is God of finances and He knows what we need and when we need it.
So how do we show genuineness when life is pummeling us with lemons. We tell the truth. Things suck, but God is good. He is always good, even when it seems like nothing in life is going quite right. We choose joy and hope over despair and frustration. Choosing joy is not being fake. It's not denying that life can be crummy.
Joy says life is hard but what Jesus has done and is doing for me is far better than the negative.
2 Corinthians 4:16: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Joy says this suffering will lead to something good for me and to glory for God. It does not deny our hardship, it makes our hardship purposeful.
Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
So, let's be real. Our limited thinking tends to focus only on the negative (unless that's just me, then kudos to you Positive Polly, I wish I could be more like you) and in focusing on the negative we forget what God has done for us and we become blind to the good He is currently doing.
Let's be real. Let's be genuine. Let's hate the bad and evil in our lives and hold tight to what is good.