Keeping It Real

Key Texts: 1 John 2:26-28

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.  As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

It’s hard to know what’s real these days.

For instance:

  • You watch the news and get the sneaking suspicion that the lead story about a “significant medical breakthrough” is really an infomercial about a new drug that a particular company wants to have promoted.
  • You go to the bookstore and see certain titles up front and glaringly obvious – wow, you think, these things must be flying off the shelves. Then you remember how the publishers have paid to have them be put front and center.
  • You google a question that has been burning in your mind for days, and up pops the answer you have been dying to hear – along with a bunch of ads for products that just happen to relate to the issue with which you are dealing.

Yeah, right.

I suppose I sound paranoid, or cynical, or both.

But all I am trying to do is put today’s scripture passage in a helpful context.

Falsehood has always been a problem.  People, for all sorts of reasons, push their own agendas and opinions.  Some things are true and some are patently false – and it can be tricky to tell one from the other.

Then, says John, comes “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” – by the name of Jesus Christ.

The anointing is real he says – the Spirit will guide us into truth – the Word can be trusted.

Suddenly, a light comes on and hype can be recognized for what it is – just a bunch of hype.

Do you sometimes think it is getting hard to know what’s real these days?

Then pray in the Spirit, and turn to the Word for guidance.

Soon, what’s real – and what’s false – will become crystal clear.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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