Authenticity. God keeps bringing this word to my mind and living. Webster describes authenticity as having the qualities of being authentic. Authentic is, therefore, defined as having a genuine, original, or authority, in opposition to that which is false, fictitious, or counterfeit, being what it purports to be, genuine, not of doubtful origin. Sounds straight forward enough, but then I wonder why I struggle so much with both being and staying authentic. I am firmly convinced that, as Christians, we are called to live authentic, genuine, truth seeking and abiding lives. I also know that healthy believers and unbelievers gravitate toward our authentic living. There is something, almost magnet-like, that pulls them in and invites them to take a closer look at what is different about who we are in Christ. I believe it is His truth, that genuineness, that non-fake, unhidden authentic life we aspire to that becomes the salt and light for a world looking for solid ground.
It means, though, that community becomes priority. Self becomes last. Anger becomes tempered and sometimes quenched. Silence becomes vocal and vocal becomes silent. Apathy turns to empathy and empathy turns to action. It means, we let go of what is not true, but has always been taught as truth. It means we learn, at times, to change our minds, swallow our pride, and stretch our thinking. It means we become comfortable with what is uncomfortable. It means we say sorry and just leave it at that and forgiveness flows from our hearts and mouths. It means we invite unfamiliar and unsimilar into our homes and hearts so that we can understand and learn from each other. It means we swallow pride and throw distance out the window as lines of defense. It means our stuff doesn’t matter because people matter more. It means our scheduled madness leaves room for hospitality and laughter in our living rooms and kitchens. It means we show up when we say we will or just show up to contribute to building community. It means we get to exchange a fear based and comfortable life for a Spirit filled life. A life overflowing with all the beauty, messiness, uncomfortableness, joy, gratitude, and kindnss that comes from an authentic Christ filled life. I get why I struggle. An authentic life IS a tough life to live out, but as a Christ follower, I don’t get a pass.
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