Photo Credit: Revival Centres
The real deal is defined as “A person or thing who is genuinely superior or impressive in some regard and is therefore worthy of appreciation or respect. A genuine and high-quality example of something. “
Why does this matter? We live in a culture that has become more and more cynical…and, superficial. Character seems no longer part of what it takes to win an election, or score a promotion, or get “to the top” of whatever the field is. If everyone lies, we just hope they don’t lie to us. Fake news and pseudo-science have prompted us to be passive in our examination of world events. Do we suspect the real deal just doesn’t exist anymore? Sooner or later, a rock will be turned over, and, even in the best of us, icky, creepy things will be exposed.
Take heart. The real deal still exists, and, in fact, maybe it’s us.
Sarah Christine points out “a three-step process…helpful for assessing whether something is the capital R-Real deal or not in [her] life, and I gotta say, it’s done a good job of rooting out the counterfeits…”
- Ask – “when it comes to figuring out whether something is the real deal or a counterfeit, asking people with more experience/expertise who have ‘been there done that,’ so to speak, can be remarkably helpful in discerning whether or not to pursue, sign onto, or invest in something.” Still…this isn’t 100% foolproof: “while the reviews and opinions of others can give you some helpful direction when it comes to discerning something real from a counterfeit, you can’t always just take people’s word for it. Some things require or at least invite more up-close and personal investigation.”
- Seek – “A really good way of assessing whether something is real or not is what happens when it gets tested. Because as much of an asset as our own eyes/experiences can be, the human mind has a tremendous capacity for self-deceit. We are… not always the most objective. Thus…when it comes to figuring out whether something is the Real Deal and not a counterfeit does not rely on the opinions/experiences of anyone else or even what we perceive ourselves. It comes down to testing the thing itself.”
- Knock – When you’re face-to-face with someone and a strong opinion has been voiced, you can assess whether that person truly believes it at his/her core or if it’s just something believed as true because of cultural influence. Sarah Christine advises: “All I’d have to do was ask,‘Why do you think that?’ And see, asking someone “why?” they said what they said, is the equivalent of a gentle poke if you ask me. It’s a soft knock. A nudge. A loving tap. But if something is the Real Deal–i.e. ironclad–you can more than give it a tentative push-back. You can full on hit it with a baseball bat. Because here’s the thing: Real Deals can take a beating. A solid argument can withstand even the most hostile inquisition. Someone who really loves you won’t cut out even when you act like a total– If you’re struggling to see whether or not something is the Real Deal, and you’ve asked and sought and still aren’t sure whether it is or not, my suggestion is you give it a good, solid hit and see what happens. Because Real things–True things–can take a beating and come back swinging.” – Sarah Christine
Thanks, Sarah Christine. I loved this so much. One challenge about this is how passive we’ve become in this post-COVID, anti-other (almost said anti-Christian, but it’s really anti-other). We struggle with a lethargy of a sort, a dullness in our critical thinking. Do we have it in us to go after the real deal? Or BE the real deal?
It’s. Just. Too. Hard.
We’ve got to WAKE UP! Look around. Start asking questions and testing out where we align and with whom. Not to become more tribal but to truly find what we believe is worth fighting for…living for. And then going after it. Going after them. Determining not to miss the Real Deals out there – the people who we can learn from and the causes that matter.
I don’t know Jackie Hill Perry personally, but she is the real deal. Karen Swallow Prior is another one. We don’t agree on everything, but they have done the work to know what they believe and they aren’t wavering…and hopefully never will. My mom was (all the years I had her with me) and my mom-in-law continues to be the real deal…with no celebrity but quiet resolve to live a faithful life.
Photo Credit: Quotes in Sight
These are but a few of the many real deals I’ve had the privilege of knowing in my short life.
The most influential? Jesus, the Christ, the Creator, the Savior.
In a conversation last night with a much younger friend, we puzzled over how people can ever walk away from Jesus once they know him. The church, maybe. The Christian life, possible. But Jesus? The only answer is that people who walk away never truly knew him. As for those whose religions or non-religions take no consideration of him, I would invite you to consider digging in and knowing Him. Ask. Seek. Knock.
He’s the real deal.
A never ending test for you will be loving someone that’s failed you. The easy thing is to retreat. To put up a guard. To cuss em out and carry on with your day. Yet God says “love them anyway”. As hard as it is, love is the only way you will truly look like Jesus. – Jackie Hill Perry