What does being authentic mean?
The dictionary defines it as not fake, true, real, genuine, true to one's beliefs, pure, trustworthy and truthful.
Basically its all the things (we say) we want the most from people. We want our friends and family to be truthful. We want our churches to be real. We want our faith to be genuine, but what does that really like?
Is it genuine (authentic) to deny the very emotions that we are seeking to cast out? Is it real to pretend that everything is ok when in truth everything is falling apart? Lets face it, admitting its not o.k. might be the very thing that turns people away from you. After all people want authenticity until they have to deal with the ugliness of it. We want others to be real until they show us their darkest places and then we run from it.We want others to be themselves until we dont like what we see.
To be honest we don't want truth. We want something that fits, something that runs smooth, something that's pretty on the outside. Something that doesn't make us look at ourselves. Another standard we can judge by.
Yet isn't it true that we are both sinners and saints? Isn't the reality that pride can live right alongside humility?
For the sake of being authentic I want to lay my heart bare.It isnt pretty, but this is all of me. This is what being authentic really looks like. Its more than perfect voices, hand raised high on Sunday morning, all the right words and bible in your hand. Its more than preaching or teaching. Its the good and the bad. Its living life in the spotlight without any fear of what others may think. Its risking being real in a world that would rather you be fake. Its the whole of a person and this is the whole of me.....
- I seek God with all my heart, but I'm just as likely to turn my back on him when the fire gets too hot.
- I feel lost and insecure, but at other times I feel absolutely certain about where I'm heading and secure in the fact that he is in charge.
- I feel lonely most of the time, but I also feel overwhelmed by the amount of love I feel from others.
- I feel needy, but I also feel the need to love without anything in return.
- I want to sing with every bit of my being and I'm thankful for every opportunity I get to do it. Not because of pride, but because I'm passionate about it. I enjoy it and I enjoy the chance to step out of the boat, step out of my fear and walk on the waves.
- I sing because I want to worship God, but at times I seek to be worshipped myself.
- I'm scared of having the opportunity to sing taken away from me, but then again sometimes I feel like I should walk away from it.
- I often want to walk away from what I love because of the power it holds to hurt me.
- I'm afraid of wanting anything more than I want God.
- I waste too much time being afraid.
- I am prideful in more ways than I would like to admit.
- I am thankful and thankless.
- I want to matter, but I know that God's opinion of me is the only thing that matters.
- I want God more than anything, but I often want the world also.
- I want what God wants for me, but I cling to my own dreams as well.
- I feel certain about what God wants for me, but I am terrorized by uncertainty.
- I love others and feel less than loving too often.
- My mouth builds others up and tears others down. Sometime within a second of each other.
- I get angry and I get remorseful for being so angry.
- I am real and I can be fake; usually with myself more than others.
All in all when it comes down to it. Its too easy to live your life seeking authenticity in others and find out you were less than authentic yourself.