When Jason put out the blog schedule for June, I wasn’t exactly excited to see my name. Oh great! Another commitment to juggle. How do I tell him “NO” in a “NICE” way?! Then I read the verse that he assigned me and I was convicted. It reads...
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory. 5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of GOD is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.” -Colossians 3:4-8
The theme for this month is authenticity, so how do these verses correlate? Well according to my googling, being authentic means that you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely. That means to succeed in being authentic, you first have to know who your true self actually is. Dang...
Let me begin with prayer!
Lord, even though I’m overwhelmed at the prospect of revealing my true self to others, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve You by sharing what You’ve done in my life. Without You I am nothing. Thank You for the testimony that You’ve given me. May I use my story and give You all the glory. Keep me authentic my GOD. -Amen
Authentic is a word that most of us would like to be identified by. Who wouldn’t want to be seen as genuine, true to self, the real deal, honest and trustworthy? I sure do, but unfortunately, it’s been easier (and I’d say safer) to share half-truths to avoid judgement. The world judges harshly, it cuts you down if you’re not fitting in a specific box.
First, it begins with your exterior...
Do you see how he’s dressed?
Look at those tattoos.
What’s with the beard?
Is he a hipster or a biker?...probably a poser.
Maybe these aren’t things to be bothered by, but the world has taught us that image matters. Personally, I can be pretty tough on myself if I haven’t been working out, eating right, etc. not just because I want to feel healthier but because I feel like I’ve grown this reputation to be this fit guy with loads of positive energy. If I don’t live up to this then I feel I’ll be letting people down. Who am I now? It’s as if I can never have a bad day without guilt. Will what you see on the outside truly represent who I am on the inside? Many can’t handle the weight of criticism so we throw up a front. Social media is the worst! We give a picture of our best selves hoping it will pass off as acceptable. Everything’s cool over here… like me, follow me, share me, validate me. Not quite authentic, is it? Do we know who we truly are?
When I made the decision to follow Jesus, to accept Him as my LORD and Savior, I knew that my life was no longer my own. My life became His. Everything that I’ve done moving forward I’ve dedicated to Him. This is where I find my true self. In Colossians, it says that one day He will return to the world and I will be one with Him in His revealed Glory, but the truth is, I don’t deserve this! I continue to sin daily, I’m self-serving, I curse, I want more than I have, I lose my temper, I do and say things that hurt others, I forget to pray and read my Bible, I fail to lead my family in love. I feel so unworthy of this honor promised to me. Doubt floods in and I get to the point where it seems like an impossible reality. How can I put to death my sinful nature?
Verse 7 reads that I “used to do these things when you were still part of this world” but I’m living it out right now! These things continue to lurk within me and because of that, I fear the wrath of God. How am I, a habitual sinner, worthy to share in the life of Christ? How can I be authentic without the fear of judgement and rejection? It’s difficult...
If you knew me like I know me/
You would hate me and disown me/
I’m just trying to be different, for my wife, for my children/
ya it’s difficult/
The first time that I listened to this short song, I began to weep. It spoke the words that I have felt for so long. I grew up craving acceptance and fearing rejection. It seems like in our life we either choose to serve the fear and avoid the judgement and rejection OR we face the fear and crush it through authenticity and true community. This leaves judgement and rejection without power or control. Sadly I didn’t know this growing up. I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate through this confusion. It left me lost and unsure of who I truly was.
But now, I am a man. I am a husband with children of my own. I want to guide them but I still struggle! And I wonder...where do I go from here? How do I become worthy? How do I allow the Lord to purify me?
In Colossians 3:8 it says NOW is the time. I am being called to act; however, I would never stand a chance if it was left in my hands. In Psalm 51 David pleads his case to God after committing adultery and murder. He confesses his sins and calls on God’s great compassion. David realizes that the only way he will ever be clean again is to be authentic with God, to lay everything out on the table. (Isn’t it funny how we even try putting an act on for GOD)… He sees everything! Well, I recognize my sin and I acknowledge my need for a Savior full of grace and mercy. I ask in humility for His will to be done in my life... I accept His call to spiritual consecration. This means that I must make a conscious, willing decision to dedicate my soul, mind, heart, and body to God. This decision must be one of will, intelligence, and affection. Only I can make the decision to consecrate myself to God. I’m by no means perfect. I struggle daily but there is an inward spiritual process happening where God brings about holiness and change in the life of a Christian by means of the Holy Spirit. This fallen world harms each one of us in different ways, but once we have Christ in our lives, the Holy Spirit begins to make a transformation. Through this process, we are able to confidently display our authentic selves to the world.