By David Jones, Restoration Path Ministries
Earlier this month it was revealed, in an extremely public fashion, that All American, Heisman runner up, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was victimized by a great hoax. He believed he had been having a romantic on line and telephone relationship with a female named Lennay Kekua. He also was lead to believe that she died in the fall of 2012 on the same day as his grandmother. It turns out this was a prank, hoax, and deception played out by a male named Ronaiah Tuiasopo.
The late night comedians were quick to fill their monologs with whimsical sarcastic antidotes about Manti’s misfortune. There were unending jokes spread across the internet by Alabama fans connecting his poor play in the bowl game with his inability to discern fantasy from reality. Last year the craze was “Tebowing”. People all over the world were posturing in a prayerful stance that mimicked Tim Tebow. I saw a picture this week that was entitled, “Te’oing”. It was a man with his arm around a non-existent girlfriend. We probably all laughed a one or 2 of these humorous antidotes. Most of us also wondered, “How could somebody be fooled like that? How could you fall in love with someone you never met? What is wrong with him?” The truth is that the fantasy world is always more attractive and alluring than reality. You can make the fantasy world become whatever you want it to be. It has no demands, pressures or expectations. The fantasy world is always there for you. There are no rejections or failures in the fantasy world. When children visit Disney World, they never want to leave. They want to live in the fantasy world where there is no homework, tests or bullies. When the fantasy world is compared to reality, reality is not very attractive. Manti had the perfect relationship that lived in the fantasy world of his mind. He attended a university with high academic standards and pressures to perform. He was the star player on a team that was expected to win every game. He carried both of those loads throughout each day of his college career. When he entered the fantasy world of romance with Lennay, he escaped all the demands and pressure of his “reality” life.
Everyday across this planet, millions of men and women escape the reality of their worlds to enter the fantasy world of pornography and internet virtual sex and relationships. We laugh at Manti and question his intellect but think nothing of having fantasy relationships with images. We amuse ourselves thinking that Manti was fooled by a one person for years. While we think nothing of having hundreds of on line sexual relationships with total strangers who are never who they say they are. We all love the fantasy world and hate reality. We never want to leave the adult Disney World of sexual sin. What happens when we have to face reality? For Manti it must have been extremely painful. When we are caught in our fantasy world of sexual sin, the excitement and fun fades fast. When your wife or child finds explicit pornographic images on your computer then the reality kills the “buzz” of your fantasy world. When the person you are sending sexual images to turns out to be a cop, then whose intellect comes into question then.
Satan has always used deception to paint the fantasy world of sin as having no consequences or pain. Let me state the obvious, the fantasy world is not real. You are not actually having a relationship with that person in that chat room. You are never going to have an intimate sexual relationship with that image on the screen. It’s not real. It will only produce frustration and emptiness.
We are all Manti Te’o. We want the perfect relationship where there is no pain or hurt and our needs are always met. There is only one real relationship like that and it is with Jesus. Having the perfect and real relationship with Christ empowers us to deal with the disappointments of the “reality world”. One day we will get to go to a home where our reality will become part of His perfect will. Until then we must realize that this world is not our home and we are only passing through on our way to our eternal home. And that’s no fantasy.
Philippians 4:13 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.(NKJV)
Restoration Path is a Christian discipleship ministry that exists to restore those trapped in sexual and relational sin through the power of Jesus Christ. Through our online workshop, individual biblical counseling, and custom intensive programs, we seek to empower men and women to embrace their identity in Christ. www.restorationpath.org