"in the real world, people spit on you"

I was thinking of the familiar situation in many conversations I've had over the years in which one person says to me (or me to another), "in the real world..." and it's usually followed by:

- an aspect of the world of business [i.e.- "in the real world, they fire you for being late too many times..."]

- an aspect of the harsh, public world [i.e.- "out there in the real world, you've got to watch your back..."]

With either aspect, the phrase is many times used to communicate that there is less grace in the real world. Most times I've heard it, it's been used to either intimidate or draw attention to the "undeserved grace" being given. Sometimes it's used to "prepare" someone for what they'll encounter once they're out of their loving environment, but most times I've heard it, it's been used as a power move- an attempt to manipulate the situation.

I say all this to say that if you use that phrase, take a second and consider what you're saying. I haven't heard someone use this phrase in a while, but it just hit me about two weeks ago what this phrase often conveys.

As a believer, the real world with it's harsh and rude conduct shouldn't be held as a standard of any kind. We are called to live peacefully, with grace and forgiveness toward all, and in reverence to God. We shouldn't look to the world of business (ruled by secular humanism and greed) nor the public world as any kind of inspiration. There might be some things we admire such as business systems or achievement, but not how to treat others with love, grace, and forgiveness.

This is especially on the brain as Dallas and I set out to plant a new church (called VoxChurch) that will need some organization if it's going to survive. If VoxChurch has an office, it will have an office culture- a way of doing things. To set this up well, looking to Fortune 500 companies with money as the bottom line.


Dallas said...

In the real world people don't say whatever they want to ;-)

Drew Caperton said...

I just realized that I didn't really finished this post. The rest is "is probably the model I'll avoid versus admire." OK, I'm sure that changed the entire post.