Embracing Disillusionment – because I guarantee I’ll disappoint you

This question appeared on Twitter last week:

Who’s the one man you would bet your life on not having a horrible secret that will make you wish you’d never admired him? (Dan Kois.)

All I can tell you is I wouldn’t make it onto my own list.

Disillusionment comes easy. It’s understandable considering all the crimes and scandals that are coming out about religious leaders, entertainers and educators. And it’s not just men. Women who have risen to prominence can disappoint when secrets come out.

Eschewing Disillusionment

Think of what an illusionist does. They make you think one thing is happening and then surprise you by showing you what’s really going on. A good illusionist makes the audience think the person is being sawed in half and then put back together again. You know it’s not true, but you allow yourself to suspend reality because that’s the way it looks and you don’t know how the trick is accomplished.

If you’d like to see how the trick is accomplished, there are plenty of videos online that explain the workings of the illusions. If you don’t mind being disillusioned, here’s a card trick and how to pull it off. I tend to like suspending belief for these illusions, though, so I don’t go looking for the methods behind the trick.

Giving away the trick gives away the fun.

Embracing Disillusionment

When it comes to people’s lives, I tend the other way. Take me, for example. I’d rather not have any illusions about myself, and I don’t want people to build me up to someone I’m not and then get disappointed when they find out the illusion isn’t reality.

Like everyone else, I’ve got feet of clay (a scriptural word picture taken from Daniel 2:41-43). I know it, and I hope everyone else at least assumes it. I don’t want there to be any surprises when someone finds out I’m not all that and a bag of chips (a not so scriptural word picture, but still handy as defined by wiktionary).

Mmm, chips! (Wikipedia)

This means living authentically, something I’m not all that good at. I try to start with how I view myself, though, and see where that goes. This is what the Bible is getting at when it says:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3.)

There are two components in that verse. One is how I understand myself, and the other is how I am equipped by God. Sober judgment means that I am actually examining myself and doing it without puffing myself up or putting myself down. Faith from God means that he has decided already that I am worth his time.

That’s good news; this verse tells me that it’s time for me to recognize that my standing in life is based on what he has done for me, as opposed to anything I’ve tried to accomplish for myself.

Am I all that and a bag of chips? No, and no one on earth knows that better than I do.

Do I have feet of clay? Count on it. So do you.

We all stumble in many ways. (James 3:2.)

Yet I still hope to honor God and encourage people, as it says on the top of this blog page, and by the grace of God I will.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13.)

That’s no illusion.


Slim Gaillard really gets how much I love potato chips:

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7 Responses to Embracing Disillusionment – because I guarantee I’ll disappoint you

  1. prasanta says:

    There is no one, not a single one, man, woman, child, etc., who could be the answer to that Twitter question, for “all have sinned”. We all fall short. I’m just wondering… why even ask.
    By the way, I really like that Potato Chip song. That is fabulous. My fondness for potato chips is justified. I’m using that song. : )

  2. Nancy2 says:

    Feet of clay? Yeah. Sometimes I think I may have a brain of clay, too!!!

  3. Kitti says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I was thinking about this recently. I don’t assume anyone has a fully correct understanding of God or the Bible. That’s an impossibility in a flawed human world. And I’ve been corrected more than enough to know that there is and will always be more to learn. (If not, I’d be terribly dissappointed).

    I know someone who raises people on pedastals, and I just don’t understand it. I usually know when either a scandal about someone is about to break out, or at least some other unfavorable behavior or belief is about to be revealed: when she constantly talks about them and quotes them to make important points, especially when she intends to use them as a finale to an argument. I’ve never pointed out this pattern to her, but it’s become sort of a source of amusement to me, and it’s one of the little things in life that prove to me that God is working diligently. The more she relies on that person for advice or knowledge of something which OUGHT to have been sourced from the Bible instead (this is different from referring or quoting for clarity’s sake), I know it’s about to hit and it won’t take long.

    • Tim says:

      I’ve seen similar things in some people I interact with on line. They quote someone as authority as if that person’s authority were in and of themselves. I don’t even have that type of authority in my own life.

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