Keeping it real is such a popular thing to say, isn’t it? The phrase is usually followed by some type of confession, like “My couch is covered with last week’s clean laundry” or “Supper wasn’t about to happen, so I fed my children Cheerios and fruit punch last night. Just keeping it real.” It might follow a confession that you haven’t washed your hair in five days or that you ran errands in the same yoga pants you slept in. Keeping it real.
Does keeping it real make everything okay? Or is it just an excuse for being lazy? Is it something we say to make us feel better about our disorganized, out of control lives? “That pretty lady doing her grocery shopping in a summer frock and heels – she’s not really like that. I’m keeping it real with my smelly yoga pants.”
I also hear people using keeping it real as an excuse for rude behavior. They let their children run wild in the grocery store, stating “Mama’s had enough today – I just can’t control them all the time. Keeping it real.” Arriving late to church and social events can be dismissed with an excuse of a stand-off with a child who refused to finish his breakfast. Keeping it real.
I don’t want to keep it real. I want to hold myself to a higher standard. Not because I’m better than someone else. Not because I’m insecure and need a perfect life to make me feel like I measure up to everyone else.
As a Christian, I’m supposed to do my best at everything. That means finishing the job – putting the laundry away, washing the dishes after a meal, performing personal hygiene and taking a few minutes to make myself presentable. That higher standard to which I’m striving to live? It’s the one set for me in Proverbs 31. I’m nowhere near virtuous woman status, but that’s my goal.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. -Proverbs 31:27
Have you fallen into the pit of laziness, rudeness or tardiness and excused it because you’re keeping it real? Or have you set a higher standard for yourself, one based on Scripture?