Without a grip on realism, we become a skeleton of the person God wants us to be. If we continue to look at this world through our VR eyes (modern day’s version of the rose-colored glasses), we can become as distorted as what we think we are seeing actually is. We have then deceived ourselves. Our fantasy has become our reality. We are then, not true.
All of us fail miserably at being completely real. Some folks might say of me, “he’s the real deal”, but I’m not. None of us are. None of us are capable of it. Only God is one hundred percent WYSIWYG–what you see is what you get.
The two points I attempted to make above are to say that some folks don’t want to see reality and distort reality to show something that is not reality. They create their own WYSIWYG and it’s phony. C.I.N.O.’s do that. They are but skeletons of who they could be, if only they chose differently. They, sadly, are phonies who sometimes are so into their VR look at themselves that they can’t see it. Pharisees were like that.
C.I.N.O.’s are Christians in name only. Unfortunately, there are many. So, what are these folks, what are they about? Instead of grieving their sin, really grieve over it in a deeply personal way and share that grief with God, they will talk about their brokenness in pious pretend-humble voices. They are often quite publicly proud of their knowledge of scripture and will be quick with a verse to share in a variety of situations. They will talk about their brokenness, but not their sin which is their brokenness. They will speak with a lot of “I”‘s. Observable humility is much less present than heard humility. They can be very kind and caring people, but it’s not uncommon to begin to wonder, at some point, if it is genuine, or perhaps a bit unreal. Sometimes their views and their observable characteristics obviously shift like the tides, which might cause one to wonder about how genuine they really are.
Perhaps the above discussion may seem a bit harsh to you. Truth has a nasty way of seeming harsh at times, though, doesn’t it? Truth also presents each of us with an opportunity to show our mettle, to be the Christians we claim to be if we ourselves are not C.I.N.O.’s. If we are true Christians, we won’t look at C.I.N.O.’s with either disdain or judgement. We will look at them the same way that we look at the truly lost–through our eyes of love and kindness. Why? Because it is our obligation to let our lives, not our words (that old seen, not heard thing!) reach through to them. We need to be mindful of what we are told in scripture:
The important part of that scripture as it relates to this discussion is what is not seen there (though it is certainly implied) –to whom is it useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness? The answer, of course, is obvious–us, we who are seeing the C.I.N.O. as someone who is perhaps a little lost, or at best, looking at himself and the world through those pesky VR eyes.
Are we up to the task?