Time for a Reality Check

We all need a reality check from time to time, especially when we’re not making progress. Now a reality check is simply answering the question, “Is your walk matching your talk?” A lot of people say they want to be fit and trim, but are they actually taking action? Is it real? Or is it just talk or perhaps “magical thinking.” We humans are pretty good at deluding ourselves.

You can probably think of many examples. Here are a few that occur to me:

A high school student is planning to attend a top-notch college but she’s making B’s and C’s in her core courses.

A colleague at work feels that he “deserves a promotion,” “should get the promotion,” and “is going to get the next promotion” – all the while doing average work at best.

Politicians of all parties promise more effective government and more government accountability, but we see the system continually move in the opposite direction.

A friend talks often about losing weight, while continuing to eat out many times per week, ordering large high-calorie meals.

So are they lying? In a sense, perhaps yes.   But then again, no, not exactly. I don’t think most people consciously decide to lie about their intentions; it’s just that we’re all fallen, fallible people. We want to feel good about ourselves, and it’s hard for us to see any unflattering truths about our own behavior.

That’s why we all could use some external help. Our trusted friends and family can help us see our problems, our self-delusions, and help us translate our intentions into actions. I encourage you find a personal coach, mentor, team, or group, for encouragement and accountability as you work on your health. Your friends can help you see if you’re actually taking the steps that are going to help you achieve your goals, or not. If not, they can help you make it real.

Unless you’ve got some external reality check, or accountability, it’s also very easy to talk yourself into the idea that your goal is not obtainable. Perhaps you have tried and failed; “you’ve done all the right stuff” and it hasn’t worked, and as a result you now have learned helplessness. That’s another form of self-delusion. If you’ve done “all the right stuff” but you haven’t achieved your goal – then it clearly wasn’t the right stuff

Of course reality checks are typically painful. The term itself implies that we’re missing the mark, and we just don’t want to be confronted with that. Let’s remember that in Jesus, we are free – free to admit our weakness, free to ask for help, free of condemnation no matter our faults. (and wishful thinking on diet and exercise isn’t that big of a fault in the grand scheme of things anyway) Grasping this freedom will allow you accept reality and begin any needed change. Take it.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36