Genuine & Authentic

Several years ago, while attending a retreat, a woman spoke on the importance of being genuine and authentic.  She emphasized the importance of not putting on airs or acting haughty but to be transparent.  I recognized the importance of what she was saying then but was not ready to fully embrace it.  (Thank goodness for Rom. 8:1)

I used to hit this wall.  I would begin to really live my life as a child of God; adjusting how I spoke, what I said, who I would associate with…a complete overhaul.  Then the loneliness would set in and I would falter.  I became exactly what Prov. 25:26 said.  I would go back to my old ways because I didn’t want to be alone.  I made several mistakes.  Making the decision to live for God and not just trust him for my salvation but let Him be Lord in my life as well is never a wrong decision.  Thinking that I could live that life in my own strength was.

When you walk with God come what may, it doesn’t always feel good.  It gets downright hard to tell you the truth.  However, it is ALWAYS worth it.  There is no term that I can think of right now that describes the benefit of living this way regardless of what it may cost you along the way.

To be genuine and authentic is to check your motives at the door.  Your motives must be able to move through the Holy Spirit meaning, you can’t do one thing but mean something else.  If your motives are right before God (not our right but His right) then all is well.  Our pastor has said that people ought not to be comfortable around us (meaning Christians) not because we beat people over the head with the Bible but our very presence, being salt and light (Matt. 5:13-14), makes people uncomfortable even if you don’t say a word.

I know what that feels like.  I’ve felt it before but I shrunk back from it before.  I’m not shrinking back now.

I’ve heard the “nobody’s perfect”, “you’re a Holy roller”, “you’re heavenly minded but you do no earthly good”, “you think you’re better”, “you are no fun to be around anymore”, “don’t invite her because she’ll bring the whole party down” etc. I’ve heard them all.  I’ve heard them all before at different times in life when I tried in my own strength to keep the changes I decided to make.  Those things don’t bother me now.  As much as it hurts to hear them said or feel that from others without them having to say a word, I have decided to follow Jesus in where ever He takes me.

My goal is not to cause people to be uncomfortable around me but if the Jesus in me makes someone else uncomfortable, then you have to take that up with Jesus.

Any changes made on the inside will reflect on the outside.  You can’t hide it even if you try.


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