Posted by: ritagone | July 14, 2010

Talking the Talk

Tom Cruise’s latest movie playing here in the U.S., “Knight and Day,” apparently is meant to save his languishing film career.  And if you watch the trailers on TV for the movie, it’s a smash hit!  The cudos for the film are overwhelming, and it makes you want to run out and see it.  It’s a big hit, it’s wonderful, everyone loves it!  At least that’s what we’re told in the ads for it, in a soothing voice meant to convince us of that “truth.”

The reality is that the movie has been panned by the critics almost unanimously (which of course is not always a bad thing), it is doing a horrible business at the box office (more serious), and many who have seen it have not liked it or had anything at all good to say about it.  (I have not seen it but my husband has.  He has nothing good to say about it.)

The discrepancy between the representation of the advertisements and the reality of this film got me to thinking about the large chasm between what is often said and reality in other arenas.

It made me think, for example, of “politician speak,” that uncanny ability politicans have to say something and make it sound as if it is true even though, as you listen, you know for a fact that it is blatantly untrue.  “We have managed by due diligence to turn the economy around,” they say, when we all know that if the economy is indeed turning, which is questionable in the first place, it has absolutely nothing to do with anything the politicans have done…in fact, it is in spite of what they have done.

Or my all-time favorite: interviews with CEOs of companies.  His (or her) company could have gone through the most horrendous year possible, the COO could have run off with the only available cash on hand, lawsuits are piling up from disgruntled customers, whatever bad could happen has happened, and yet, and yet, we hear: “We are optimistic that we have set a course that is going to keep moving us forward in the coming years, we are confident in our product line, and we are encouraged that the future is bright.”  What????  Really????

What do all of these “speeches” have in common?  They have no touch with reality, yet they sound solid, they feel real.  You believe what’s being said because it’s being said with such strong conviction, with the assurance that the person speaking the words knows what he or she is talking about, is honest and forthright and would never dupe us or tell us something that isn’t so.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is so far from this being the case that we have come to disbelief almost everything we are told.  And why shouldn’t we?  Just saying so doesn’t make it true.  A movie is not a hit because a paid voice-over says it is.  A politician is not always credible because he tells us that he is upright and doing that which is best for his constituents, or even that which is best for his nation.  And a C.E.O. certainly has a vested interest in telling people that the company is successful because he wants that bonus, he want the board of directors to keep him employed, and he wants that beautiful large retirement at the end of his career.

We as believers are called by Jesus to walk the walk and talk the talk.  We are told that our yes should be yes and our no, no.  What exactly does this mean?  I think it means the polar opposite of what I’ve been talking about here: that when you say something, there is no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive, no secret reason to say something other than exclaiming the truth, pure and simple.  It sounds easy, it sounds clear, but it’s so very difficult, especially when the culture we live in condones and even winks the eye at hypocrisy and being two-faced.

We all know Christians who just don’t get it; they can’t seem to live the kind of life that they can so easily talk about.  They know Bible verses, they appear to be able to describe the Christian life in minute detail, but when it comes to living it out, when it is  a matter of people identifying that person as a true reflection of who Jesus is and what He’s all about, the miss is a mile off.

How sad.

How frightening.

I hope my life is constantly being honed and sculpted to be more and more the way Jesus wants it to be so that people will look at me and say, “Now there’s a person who looks like Jesus Himself!”  Oh, that would be the reality I would long for.

CONNECT 2010 is rapidly approaching.  If you’re planning on attending, I hope you’re as excited as I am to be there.

Regards,  Rita

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