Last week’s Horizon was about the unconscious mind, and how our brains are doing a lot more under the surface than we think they are. One of the things they spoke about was that actually our brains filter out negative information and focus on the positive; it doesn’t seem to matter how much negative stuff is thrown at us, we ignore it and think optimistically in the face of it all!
Looking on the bright side is apparently not realistic. In fact, the state of the world seems to indicate that realism is a severe bleak depression. We don’t embrace that though (and I’m not suggesting we do); infact, we strive to hide the negative things and focus on the positive. Or think about it this way; looking at the world realistically is classed as a mental illness, and you can get treatment to help you stop looking at it realistically. What is the world offering to combat the negativity of it all, except to ignore it and focus on the positive? The world’s answer to the bleakness of reality is to ignore it, it’s not healthy to think about what’s actually going on.
I want to embrace the truth, and accept reality for what it is. But I missed something out about reality here, of course. The worlds bleakness ignores the hope that we have in God. We should be looking at things as they are, not ignoring what is actually going on for our own sense of well-being; but that’s not the end of the story. We can see things as they are without falling into despair, because “we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28).
The reality of this world is that things are dire and bleak, and the world says if you accept that you are desperately ill. But the reality of this world is also that things are brightening, a new day is coming, when Jesus will return and make all things new. The world says if you accept that you are mad. The world apparently doesn’t like reality, for all it’s claims; it’s ignoring what’s going on and cheering itself up with empty platitudes. I don’t want to filter out the truth – I want to walk in it.