Why Being Real Is So Stinkin’ Hard…

Authenticity is not a new word, it’s been buzzing around in Christian circles for some time. We’ve been told to be authentic. Be the real deal. The Bible makes it clear that our love for God and others should be authentic as well.

“Let love be without hypocrisy,” Romans 12:9 says (NASB). Or the NLT puts it this way, “Don’t pretend to love others. Really love them.” Another version says, “Love must be sincere.” Another, “Let love be genuine.”

Who knew there were so many ways to express the importance of authenticity!

And therein lies the dilemma. The fact that being real before God & others is good & right & honorable & Christ-like…well, is it any question it’s upside down to our natural inclinations?

I’ve been pondering this as I prepare to confront other women with this truth at The M.O.M. Initiative’s Better Together Conference next week. We as women (& human-kind in general) long for connection. But even more, way deep down, we desire real connection. Superficial is fine out on the fringe. Surface talk can keep us from being totally alone…but without those relationships that are safe as we “work out our faith in fear & trembling,” we continue to long for that which we know is missing. That which God intended to help sharpen us, refine us…that which God intended for us to help sharpen others, refine others…

But it’s a risk. When we are honest about our struggles, our shortcomings, our insecurities, our strongholds, we risk rejection. We also risk flattery and enablement. We risk abandonment. It seems that there’ s so much more to lose when we live and love genuinely than when we keep others at a distance.

And isn’t it the same in reverse? When that person we’ve admired or put on a pedestal for so long begins to confess what’s really going on in their life, we have to face the conflict within ourselves to decide whether we really want to be close to them or not.

It’s the hard ugly truth.

That’s one of the million reasons we need to cling to God’s grace. His grace loved us “while we were still sinners.” His grace is unrelenting. His grace denies selfishness, has no pretense or falseness. Christ loved people even when they rejected the truth about Him. Christ stayed true to His person and purpose even when He didn’t meet the expectations others had of Him.

And He can enable us to live in this same way. As we confess our need for His genuine love to work in and through us every single day, He will be faithful in the process. Yup, that word again: Process. We won’t see instant perfection; rather, progress as we continue to abide in Him. And even though it’s stinkin’ hard, it’s worth it…if not this moment, eventually it will be.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. 1 Thess 5:23-24

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6 Responses to Why Being Real Is So Stinkin’ Hard…

  1. Joe Pote says:

    Authenticity is very difficult.

    I think a major factor is the realization that we don’t see each other’s lives as a continuum, but only as discrete snapshots.

    Watch a video of people singing and you see and hear people singing. Look at a snapshot of people singing and all you see is a bunch of goofy people standing around with their mouths wide open.

    That’s how we see each other’s lives…in snapshots. And none of us wants the world to view us from the perception of a poor snapshot. We either want people to see a nice snapshot or we want them to see the whole movie. But for anyone who won’t see the whole movie, we really want them left with the impression of a good snapshot…or at least not the impression of an awful snapshot.

    Then, on top of that, there’s the whole business of growing in grace and being conformed to the image of Christ. The whole process of the Christian life is about acting in Christ rather than in the flesh, while believing, in faith, that my truest self is the part of me that is most Christ-like. So, I want to act based on that innermost Christ-like character, not the ugly selfish grumpy flesh character.

    But, sometimes, if we’re not careful, rather than being conformed to the image of Christ, it starts becoming more a pretending to be conformed to the image of Christ…or maybe even just wanting others to see us as being conformed to the image of Christ…

    It’s a tricky business…and authentic authenticity is not nearly as easy as it sounds…

  2. Laury says:

    It’s so easy to share what we want and hide the rest. Can’t hide anything from God though. Thank you for sharing of yourself with us, Laura. For being the real thing on your blog and in your friendships. <3

  3. Lisa M. says:

    It isn’t easy for sure, Lalee. I wish I could sit in on your session at the conference–sure I would glean some treasures.
    Lisa M. recently posted..Boomerang Words…and Their Lessons

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