Mentoring Leadership

Authenticity Isn’t Just About You

5.22Have you ever given advice you have difficulty applying in your own life? Have you ever stretched the truth (a.k.a., lied) to make yourself look a little better or perhaps a little worse in order to avoid doing something? (Perhaps you’ve even deceived yourself.) Are there areas of your life in which you know there are principles you should follow, but you just don’t seem to be able to discipline yourself to apply them, or you struggle with how they apply directly to you?

You’re not alone.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6

Lord, teach me what you want me to do, and I will live by your truth. Teach me to respect you completely. Psalm 86:11

Truthfulness isn’t just about what you say. It’s about the way you live. It paves the way for an authenticity in our lives, a perspective that reflects actually and exactly what we claim. Authenticity is a reflection of God, which means if we want authenticity, we can’t look in our own mirror; we have to use his.

If you’re supposed to reflect God’s character, how “real” is the reflection?

Truthfulness affects others. It affects their faith, because it affects how they see God. Whether I have a long-term relationship or momentary encounter with someone, my character, the way I behave, my attitude…all combine to reflect the God who created me for purpose on this earth. No moment, no situation, no person is insignificant. The truth of who I am, my authenticity, affects others.

And here’s the truth. I don’t always reflect the truth of God’s character. Sure, sometimes it has nothing to do with deceit. It might have to do with ignorance. But in all honesty, how often are we ignorant in a situation versus how often we rationalize we’re ignorant? It’s much easier to plead innocence than to take responsibility.

Not listening to God isn’t the same as not knowing his character. We live in a “shirk responsibility” culture. It’s easier to blame someone else. But when it comes to your personal walk with God, it’s between you and him. I can assure you, he’s not the one creating space.  Are we distant from God sometimes? Yes, but we can acknowledge the distance and move. Or we can choose instead to try to figure out the distance, whine about the distance, and end up in the same place weeks or months from now. Are we hurt or confused sometimes? Yes, but again, we can acknowledge our emotions and experience and begin the process of moving to another place, or steep in the turmoil and end up in the same situation, or worse, weeks or months from now.

Consider your life. Stand next to God and look into his mirror, the reflection he sees of you. Look at your authenticity, becoming actually and exactly what is claimed.

Pure_Purpose_Cover_for_Kindle(Today’s blog post is adapted from the Pure Purpose Bible study. For more information, including a free sample, click here.)

2 thoughts on “Authenticity Isn’t Just About You”

  1. Good thoughts, Susan. On that note, this quote from Chris Heuertz in Simple Spirituality kills me every time:

    “I would say that I’m a fairly transparent person. Ask me just about anything you want and I typically have no problem opening up the tender parts of my heart… But transparency isn’t vulnerability…

    “For me, being vulnerable is much more difficult than being transparent. I have a hard time exposing the parts of me that can be wounded. Sure, I can share my feelings with someone, but it’s tough for me to trust people with my feelings. It’s not easy for me to put my needs out there and give someone a chance to reject them. And so what I usually do is work toward transparency as a distraction from my lack of vulnerability.

    “There’s no submission in that. Submission is giving up oneself to the power of another; transparency isn’t an act of submission so much as it is a preemptive strike — a self-protecting attempt to keep people at a safe distance. Transparency in this way becomes an attempt to protect and control. Submission is a celebration not of insipid acquiescence but of confident surrender. Submission is an opportunity to affirm our deep trust in God by allowing God to be in control as we resist the urge to assert ourselves as God.”

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    1. This is beautiful. This explains my experience with ‘being vulnerable’, and why it hasn’t positively affected me as I have hoped it would. That’s because I’ve been transparent rather than vulnerable. My heart has felt closed off, yet I have prided myself in being so ‘open.’ My heart hasn’t been in it, just my mind and walls.
      What a process it is to open up, and I pray that I will understand the process more and more to let go of my pride and walls so that I may truly FEEL and connect to God and others around me.
      Thanks for posting your quotes carlsimmonslive.

      Like

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