Reality shows are something we rush to TV to watch. Shows like Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, The Bachelor etc. have all taken the nation by storm in the past few years. As these reality celebrities show us what their life is like or how bad they want a relationship, we sit on our couches and criticize them for their spoiled ways, lavish life style and dysfunctional families. Yet we flock back to the TV to see what we can judge about The Kardashian family this week…fully obvious character flaws. I wonder – do we really believe this is reality or does it just makes us feel better to criticize?
I grew up in a very abusive home as a preacher’s kid. One of the worst things about my childhood was that often I felt I had no safe place. When I lived in Memphis the streets were rough and then when I went home it was to an unstable environment. The church people I grew up around had unrealistic expectations. You could never tell what was really happening in my family because Sunday mornings we looked like the Cosby Family. We knew how to smile and play the game. People never knew that it was hell at home because we presented heaven in public. They thought because my father was a phenomenal minister that he was obviously being a good father.
This always gets me because so many times people were simply wrong about what they thought my home life was like. In a day and time where 1,500 ministers leave the ministry every month and close to 50% of marriages end in divorce, it feels like monthly we hear about a ministers being caught in a sin they condemned from the pulpit. So just like reality TV, we must wonder what people would say if that camera was on us?
Though these shows can be entertaining, but ultimately can only serve as evidence as pain that only God can heal. At the same time, I also see some of the same pain in the church. It’s so easy for us to watch other people’s lives and point out obvious sins and indiscretions. Let us also take that time to evaluate our own heart. What would people say about your reality show?
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