Written by Deborah.

Although the definition of reality is what is true or real, our thought life does not automatically function in reality. As adults and as Christians we need to periodically "check" to see if our thinking is based upon reality or merely our perception of reality.

Let's consider…

Romans 14:1-5ff

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations, for one believeth that he may eat all things; another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth, Yea, he shall be holden up; for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

In this section of God's Word, we learn about one group's reality verses another group's perspective of reality. Two groups of believers are described; one that were vegetarians and one group that ate meat. God received each man on his own merits. God loved His people equally and in reality didn't care what they ate, as long as they were thankful and ate to the Lord. To further illustrate this point let's consider their possible thought process. One group believed (their reality), "We will not eat anything unclean, therefore we will not eat meat." The other group, "Hey, meat is meat and once it's blessed, let's eat." Which group was right? Neither, for God received them both and understood that each man's reality was what he believed to be right in this area of his life. God didn't care--as long as they ate with thanksgiving unto the Lord. 

When I turned 30, my hair color started to turn gray. My mother's hair was 100% silver gray by age 30, so a few gray hairs on my head at 30 was no big deal. My identity of who I was as a person didn't reside in hair color, so it simply didn't affect my thinking. My reality was/is that gray hair is no big deal--it's just hair. My reality says, it grows, I cut it, I wash it, it keeps my head warm, it's on my head and this is one thing in life I don't need to think about. However, my 12 year old daughter's perception/reality was that I looked like a grandmother, and for her benefit I chose to dye my hair a dark, more youthful color. Her reality was altered, although my remained the same. Our reality is what we believe to be true.

When I lived in Kansas City, I owned a Norwegian Elk Hound named Rembrandt. As a responsible pet owner, my dog was given his shots every year, he lived in a well kept fenced in yard, he was bathed regularly, he ate well, I walked him once a day, he traveled with me in my VW bug everywhere, and I brought him into the house every night to sleep on my bed. I also owned 3 cats that enjoyed similar privileges and my reality dictated that this was responsible pet ownership. However, now I own 3 Rottweilers and as a responsible pet owner, we provide them with shots (occasionally), they live in a well kept fenced in yard with very adequate dog houses, they are bathed regularly, they eat well, they are allowed to run the property, they stay at home and guard our property and they sleep in their appropriate housing each night. My reality has changed as to what it means to be a responsible pet owner.

My daughter Danielle had decided, after squeezing a few stuffed penguins, that penguins are soft and snuggly creatures. No matter how many times I'd tell her that they are not soft and squeezable in real life (reality) she refused to accept what was true. Her reality was what she believed to be true and therefore it was. However, when we took her to the zoo and she saw penguins up close and personal--her reality changed. Her reality was forced to change because she could smell the penguins and she saw these creatures in reality. With disappointment, her reality was altered.

My son Samuel likes one flavor of ice cream, vanilla. When at our local Braum's Ice Cream store, I bought a scoop of vanilla ice cream for him in a cup. He looked at it and clearly stated, "That's not vanilla ice cream." "Yes, Samuel that's vanilla ice cream. That's what their vanilla ice cream looks like--it's a creamy white color." "It's not white and I know it's not vanilla." I knew there was no point in arguing the point, his reality was rock solid--in his own mind. "Excuse me ma'am, could you please tell me what flavor of ice cream is in this cup?" "Yes, that's vanilla." "So, what you're saying is that this is vanilla ice cream in this cup? This is Braum's style of vanilla ice cream?" "Yes." "Samuel, did you hear what the Braum's lady said? She works here and she knows all the ice cream flavors and she said this is…(point to the lady and the ice cream)." "Vanilla ice cream!" Samuel then lit up like a light bulb, "Oh, so this is vanilla ice cream. Great, I'm going to eat it now!" His reality changed because he had gathered more information to help him understand what was true.

"I feel old and fat." If that is your mental reality and where you live in your mind--then that is your reality. But it that really true? Are you over the age of 95 and weigh 350 lbs.? (That's my definition and reality of what's old and fat.) What's your reality? Whatever you think about and dwell upon, becomes your reality. Everything we think about expands in our minds and becomes our reality. If the adoption process is the hardest and most difficult process in the entire world--then that's your reality. If the adoption process requires more mental energy, more mental commitment and more of your life than you're willing to give--then that's your reality.

Only you can decide what is your reality. If the challenges in your life, whatever they may be, are insurmountable, then in reality you'll never overcome them, because your reality doesn't allow God to bless you, to deliver you and to answer your prayers. But when you line up your mind and heart with the REALITIES of God's promises, then deliverance follows like the tail on a dog--and that's a reality!

For more information please read Personal Decision.*

We encourage you to follow God's loving guidance.

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