Friday, March 18, 2011

Keep It Real

People use the term "keep it real" all the time, but what does it really mean? Urban Dictionary defines it as:
  • To not be fake. To be yourself. 
  • To not inhibit yourself or pretend to be something you are not. 
  • To not only tell the truth, but specifically get to the point of the actual matter at hand, rather than beating around the bush."
I'm not sure how I feel about this term or about these definitions, but let me tell you the truth about keeping it real.

The Prophet Jeremiah uses the symbol of a tree to represent how we should be, or in other words, he tells us how to keep it real.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8)
Like this tree, we, too, should send out our roots to look for the water we need, the water of life. If we are willing to be like a tree planted by the water:
  1. We will be able to withstand the heat - Jeremiah says we won't even notice when the heat comes. Some of us have heat in our lives, in our homes, on our jobs, with our health, but if we're like this tree, it won't even phase us.
  2. We will be healthy - Jeremiah says the tree had green leaves. I never lived in the projects, but I did grow up in the hood. You know...where the grass was always brown...? Yeah. Seemed like the rich people always took better care of their grass (smh at our adolescent minds). But if we are like this tree, we won't have to worry about brown grass in our lives, even if we DO live in the hood. We won't even concern ourselves with that "grass is always greener on the other side" because our grass with been green in HD. Our relationships. Green! Our employment. Green!! Our finances. GREEN!!!
  3. We will have eternal harvest - Jeremiah says the tree will never stop producing fruit. Just like that tree, we can live our lives forever producing. We many not produce in the winter. We may not produce in the fall. But seasons change! And our leaf will not wither. We can forever produce joy. Forever produce peace. Forever produce love. Forever produce prosperity!
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3)
Apple trees bare apples and peach trees bare peaches. You won't get an apple from a peach tree. It just won't happen. Just the same, every good tree bares good fruit, and every bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit (Matthew 7:16-20). Keep it real. What kinda fruit are you baring?

Today I challenge us all to be real; to be ourselves; to be trees that bear good fruit.

Lord, draw our roots to you, the living water, so that we may grow strong and bear good fruit. Amen

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