Living Within The Realm Of Reality

January 2, 2016

                 Living Within The Realm Of Reality

In our day it seems as though many are finding it difficult to live within the realm of reality. They want to believe that violating the laws of nature and the law of averages won’t affect them.  They yield to their carnal desires and turn a deaf ear to reality.  Their failure manifests itself in various areas of life.

Some have trouble living within their means. Their desire to have, takes precedence over their ability to pay.  Some people are at risk with a credit card.  They find it easy to swipe their card through the card reader without giving thought to the balance in their account.  They are accustomed to think, “It’s really not that serious.  If we can’t pay the balance at the end of the month we will just have to pay interest on what we owe.” The day finally comes, however, when they find themselves in a dilemma at the end of the month.  The balance in their account isn’t enough to pay all the bills.  They have to ask themselves, “What is most demanding; the mortgage on the house, the car payment, the student loan, etc.?” Then comes the day when that dreaded foreclosure letter comes in the mail.  Then they are forced to face reality.  It will be with regrets that they hadn’t faced it a long time ago.

Our political leaders are also struggling with the problem of living within the realm of reality.  They see no problem with taking our country farther and farther in debt.  The day of reckoning will inevitably come.

Some people find that it’s possible to get gain by means of deception. They may or not be pathological liars, but they are adept at it.  Some time ago one of them called me on the telephone.  He informed me that I had won $33,000 in a sweepstakes drawing.  I was convinced at first.  He promised to call back the next day with more details.  The next day he called again to say that the men responsible for delivering the money were at the airport where they had to get the money out of customs.  The customs officials wanted to charge them $300.00 and they didn’t have that much money.  He gave me an address to which I was to send a Fed Ex check in that amount.  That gave me sufficient reason to think it was a fraud, and I said “No.”

Not all liars are criminals. Some just do it in everyday life to get what they want or to disembarrass themselves.  In either case, the time comes when the truth is known.  Some, like the man who called me with the promise of money, will someday have to face reality, and perhaps spend time in prison.  Others just suffer the loss of friends and credibility.  If we commit ourselves to face reality we won’t find ourselves in situations like these.

Others disregard reality in their eating habits. Junk food is the daily diet of some people.  Yes, it requires little preparation and it sure tastes good.  The result, however, will be broken health.  Most people know that good health demands that we eat good food.  Our body may forgive us if we eat junk food once in a while, but not if it’s our daily diet.

In the same category we could include those who abuse their body with cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Those who do so realize in the end that they have paid a terrible price for the elation they experienced in the past.  Sometimes the only reason why they give into those things is to stay in step with their crowd.  Once they become addicted, they find themselves enslaved.

Reality will tell you that you can enjoy life without those things. Why risk great loss and suffering for something you can live without?  The fool says, “I won’t be addicted,” but most of them are.  Why take chances?  Reality says there is a good chance that you will pay a high price in the end.  Everywhere we find people hurting because of these things that they could have lived without.  Men have lost their jobs, their marriage, and the respect of relatives and friends.  Some have lost their health; some are invalids.  It is sad to see young people whose life has been ruined even before they come of age.  They are a testimony to the awful consequences of living outside the realm of reality.

There are numerous other ways of living outside the realm of reality, but let’s consider what it means to live within the realm of reality. The Bible tells us, in Galatians 6:7-8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  It isn’t for us to debate about whether that is true or not.  You just need to accept it as true and live in the light of it.  What God says is true, whether we think so or not.  Living in the light of what God says will enable us to enjoy life.  Yes, there are times when you will have to deny yourself things the flesh  desires.  Claim the promise of Psalm 84:11.  “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”  To walk uprightly is to walk within the realm of reality.

Some might say, “Christians don’t always walk in the realm of reality.” They think that to walk by faith is to walk outside the realm of reality.  That may be true to a certain extent.  Take, for example, what Jesus said in Mark 11:24.  “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  When I ask God for something, I can’t count it among my possessions until I have it.  I believe that I will have it if it is God’s will for me.  If I don’t receive it, it will be because God knows I don’t need it or I would be better off without it.  A prudent Christian doesn’t go out and buy a new car with faith that God will give him an increase in his salary so he can make the payments on it.  First he prays about it, and if God doesn’t give him peace about it, he doesn’t do it.

Those who live outside the realm of reality have chosen to believe in what they would like to believe is true, rather than what they should know to be true. To correct their problem they must change their way of thinking.  Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D. has something interesting and important to say on that subject.  In his book “People of the Lie” he says, “All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love of some other ideal.  They do what God wants them to do rather than what they would desire.  The God submitted person says ‘Thy will, not mine, be done.’ They believe in what is true rather than what they would like to be true.”

There are two main reasons why people today find it difficult to live within the realm of reality.  One is their ignorance of history.  Young people are graduating from high school and college with a pathetic ignorance of history.  They either aren’t taught history, or if they are, it is a perverted interpretation of it.  We should learn from history.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”  If others have tried something, and it didn’t turn out well for them, then you better think that it isn’t wise for you to do it.

Another reason why people live outside the realm of reality is because our culture has hindered them from thinking rationally.  They are told that moral laws are relative.  That gives them liberty to reject biblical morality.  Whatever is accepted by the majority is deemed proper behavior.  That leaves people feeling free to co-habit, commit adultery if there is mutual consent, and tell people, “You have a right to_______.” Fill in the blank.  They tell us that Christians are too judgmental.  They call us puritanical.  All the while they refuse to face the reality of the tragic consequences that result from improper behavior.

We are more inclined to live within the realm of reality if we look around us at all the hurting people and ask ourselves, “What is causing them to hurt?” When we find the cause of their dilemma, we do well to say, “That’s not right for me.” Some are hurting when it’s no fault of their own. For example, many are hurting because of the improper behavior of others around them.  Some are hurting because of a tragedy they couldn’t have avoided, or because of health problems that they didn’t knowingly bring upon themselves.  Even so, life is at its best when it is lived within the realm of reality.  Stay within the limits, and encourage others to do the same.

The following biblical exhortation from Psalm 37:1-5 will help you live within the realm of reality. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.   For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.    Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.    Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.    Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

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