Being Real Goes Both Ways

Every once in a while, I get a wild hair to write about something that weighs on my heart. It doesn't happen often, but it is nice to have an outlet to let the words go out into the world. This is one of those times, so if you only come for the homesteading news, bear with me!


Many people complain about how social media prevents people from being "real" with each other. That because we only post the pretty moments, the moments of happiness, that we aren't being real.

The thing is, one of the only things that everyone, whether believing Christ or not, can KNOW, absolutely, is that everyone has pain. Everyone hurts. Everyone has a hard time. There is not one person who has escaped this world without experiencing some kind of emotional distress.

Just because someone is having a good day or good moment, has no bearing on what their day was like yesterday, or what it will be like tomorrow.

Pain is not a "where" but a "when." Everyone gets pain, maybe not at the same time as you, but they will get it.

I could go into detail about why I know everyone gets pain, about the fact that this is a sinful, fallen world that is not living as it should in God's grace. And that pain makes it obvious. Just like in our bodies, when we feel physical pain it's because something is terribly wrong.

The pain we experience in life is because something is terribly wrong. But that's not what this post is about.

Since we all have pain, we can know this about everyone. No one lives through life without hurting at some point. But there are also points of joy. And it's ok to celebrate the good moments!

Good moments are just as real as the bad moments. Maybe even more so; the good moments point us toward the good of God, the good that is to overcome the bad. The good moments make the bad moments not quite so bad, and maybe even worth it. The good moments make us see the difference between pain and grace.

When we're not having a good moment, but someone else on our friend list is, we can actually celebrate that there are still good moments in life, that our friend is having a good moment. Because it's just as real as the pain we are feeling.

I'm not saying that we should be deceitful and cover up the bad moments. But let's not heap guilt on our heads for celebrating good moments. Let's be happy when we can be, and share our happiness. Let's share the moments when we triumph over the bad, when we can say no to that depression. Show the beautiful pictures of the newborn baby! We, who have been there, know the pain and the cost of the beauty. Life is hard. I don't even want to hear about the guilt trip that life isn't as hard for you as someone else. Life is hard! It's a struggle, a fight, and sometimes a defeat. We humans seem to like to make up guilt for ourselves to carry. Don't fall into that trap! Yes, the world is wrong, and it is our fault. But it seems so often we try to add to that guilt. As if we aren't guilty enough! Or maybe these petty guilts distract us from the true guilt. Don't buy into the guilt that we should be living certain ways (getting up early, exercising, being skinny, etc.)! Jesus said love God, love your neighbors. So that's what we do. We love.

Love those who are having good days, and love those who aren't. It doesn't matter what kind of day you are having. Being real goes both ways.


12 comments

  1. I don't see this attitude often enough! Yes all our suffering is real but that does not excuse us from rejoicing with those who rejoice, or allow us to be self-absorbed ignore the suffering of others!

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  2. Yes! It is too easy to get caught up in what is painful or difficult and not remember that we do have good moments to celebrate. Just as important to rejoice with those who are rejoicing as it is to weep with those who weep. The fact that we are willing to celebrate the good more broadly than bemoan the difficult is not necessarily bad as long as we're willing to let those closest to us help bear the more difficult burdens. Visiting from TGIM.

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    1. Yep, we have to remember that we aren't in the eternal yet, so everything here is temporary. Thanks Abi!

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  3. So true! I typed a blog post on this exact topic last week - but ditched it cause it wasn't very gracious. After reading your words - you've said it so much better! Thank you.

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  4. I totally agree! I use social media as an outlet, and I'd rather see positive things when I waste time on social media.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this. I have gotten caught up in thinking that people are not being "real" on social media but in reality I would much rather see positive things than negativity ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

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  6. I find myself being dragged down by other negative posts. Not that there aren't negative things in this life, but viewing life through a joy-filled lens is important and vital to our health.
    Thank you for writing on this!

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  7. ok, I understand your point but here is my problem- people comparing themselves to what others post and then feeling bad because they don't measure up or they might even get envious. Sometimes people get so focused on what others are doing on their social media that they forget to live in the present.
    I went to a lot of effort to host a nice 50th birthday for my sister. A group of us went to the beach for the weekend. We fixed her favorite dinner, went out to listen to live music and lots of other fun stuff. She was fixated on her phone watching her friends every move while vacationing in Greece. She had to report to us every half hour or so what her friends were doing in Greece. I felt terrible and hurt. Obviously she wasn't enjoying her birthday cause she was too busy wishing she was in Greece instead of enjoying the group of friends she had right in front of her.
    Nothing wrong with going to Greece, I was happy for them but I was not happy that my sister was ignoring the present because she was too busy contrasting/comparing on social media. I think our beach weekend would have been 100 percent better w/o cell phones. Just my opinion on this subject.
    Thanks for letting me vent!!!

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    1. Oh I'm sorry! That would hurt my feelings too. And you are absolutely right, that comparisons also need to take a hike. We aren't on some kind of universal competition for the best, or worst, life. We are each just living. And life throws ups and downs our way. I really am sorry that your sweet and awesome gift wasn't received as you hoped and expected. I'm glad you found a place to vent here!

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  8. Oh, YES! Joy is a choice and in the middle of pain we just have to choose it. Many of us are very real -- we have pain, but Jesus helps us through it. This is an awesome post. Thank you for writing it.

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