I loved that post. That idea that cheerfulness is old-fashioned, and simply the sign of someone being fake — how prevalent is that? Having come of age in a Nirvana-steeped generation, I quickly became aware of the fact that real people only expressed “angst” (and how overplayed a word is that?). “Being real” was highly valued. Being able to clearly communicate your frustration with life was the key to being cool. Hating yourself, complaining about every situation, as well as, of course, sticking it to the Man — all hallmarks of the kid who was truly in touch with themselves.
How many times did my attempt at being positive get met with scoffs, rolled eyes, and a “stop being so fake”? Not too many times, I’m sure, before I started to keep such thoughts to myself — and started to think maybe that really was just fake. Unfounded optimism. Delusional idealism. Maybe I was lying to myself, lying to the world, lying even to God. After all, the freedom to be real was the most important proof that you had a genuine relationship with God, right?
But that just never totally sat right with me. And I realized two things.
First, venting about every inconvenience, using course language because that’s how you feel inside, and denouncing everyone as an idiot is not being real; it’s being base. It’s giving into the lowest impulse of human nature.
Second, those lowest impulses are not the only real things that I experience. In fact, none of the things I process from my finite, human perspective are the entire reality. There are two realities constantly occurring. The principle of my outward man decaying while my inner man grows stronger sheds some light on the subject. Throw a little already-not-yet in the mix, and you have a very good argument for why a faith-filled, thankful response to life is Real. Just because I choose to focus my response on the greater Reality of the Kingdom, rather than the base reality of my carnal, still-being-sanctified flesh, doesn’t make me fake.
Uncool, maybe, but not fake.
I am challenged again to take the path of courage, patience, and good conscience, and live in the light of His glorious Kingdom.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. [— philippians 4:8]