What does it mean to be authentic? I started to ponder this and seek out what that looks like when it is lived out. Asking friends what authentic looks like to them gave me a wide array of responses, yet the same threads of transparency, honesty, Grace , real with no masks - were weaved in each one. To find the perfect actions of authenticity I looked to the Bible, where Jesus is our best example.
Are you drawn to that person who is:
- comfortable in their own skin
- they defy boundaries
- often “over share”
- ask poignant questions
- admit their faults and oddities openly
- don’t pretend to know things they don’t
- don’t try to fit in or impress anyone
- are who they are no matter the place or circumstance
- does the “right thing” even when it’s difficult…
They are so comfortable with themselves that they make you feel comfortable, you are free to be who you truly are and you know your not judged. If so, you have experienced an authentic person. Authenticity makes those wearing masks uncomfortable, yet many are drawn to and find it refreshing. It’s so refreshing today because we are a “me” society surrounded by political correctness and false realities.
Wearing masks we hide behind fake personas, helping us to “play the game” in life.
They keep us from true reality and real relationships. Masks take a lot of energy to keep on, energy that could be spent on really connecting with and serving others.
The innocence of children shines with authenticity: unadulterated, not yet effected by the cynicism of the world. A child can spot a mask a mile away and watch out, they know how to rip them off!
Jesus is a true and kind gentleman with no pretenses. He is who he is no matter what, he never changes. He is always honest with us and when we are truly honest with him we can express and expose our inner being without fear.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5,6 & 7, Jesus covered a multitude of “real” issues, ultimately he pointed to the attitude of the heart as more important than the sins committed.
He had no facade
He wasn’t concerned about impressing anyone
He was brutally honest, yet with love went about his Father’s work.
He shared the truth in “real down to earth” ways that reached people’s hearts, Grace, Love and Compassion.
Grace renders kindness, sincerity and authenticity that is unnatural to the world. Grace is responsible - caring for and upholding its obligations. Helping others, yet doesn’t over extend self. Less concerned about what the world thinks, and more about what is The Father’s will. Grace comes from Christ brimming inner peace, self-control, patience and contentment no matter the circumstance.
Selfishness is easy to spot in the light of Grace! Personally, when I seem to have the least Grace , I find my selfish heart at the center…
Real community/connection is messy, but doesn’t have to be bad or ugly…. We are all sinners, we all hurt, we all need a redeemer! Authenticity faces the tragedies of life and still finds beauty & hope. God wants us to be REAL with him. How can I embrace my redemption, if I am unwilling to be honest about my flaws and failures? Being truthful/transparent/authentic with God says that I Trust HIM with all my problems. Real life, this side of Heaven is filled with ugliness and beauty, it’s MESSY, but that is the fullness of living authentically .
God isn’t fooled by our pretenses or masks, He knows our hearts…. He loves us in spite of ourselves… He delights in our frankness, redeems it all and walks us through the sanctification process.
“Someone who lives their life according to the principles they prescribe to. Not just words, but actions. Genuine. Walks the walk” - Lori Schuster -
That’s authentic living!
Everyone is on a journey, the Grace filled soul understands that!
I want to live like that….