On Authenticity

The New Year holiday came and went this year, and I made nary a resolution.

Maybe I am jaded from having spent too many years resolving that REALLY! This is THE YEAR!! that I…

  • exercise better
  • eat better
  • pray better
  • act better
  • spend time better
  • BE BETTER.

But the truth of the matter is, I resolve almost every day to do those things better, and I repeatedly fail. Every day. So what is so special about January 1st anymore?

We live in that tense already/not yet state as Christians. Our sin is purged in the eternal sense; it is paid for. Daily, however, we live with the weight of it….the life-draining, discouraging presence of it. We can’t get away from it; it clouds even our best intentions and actions. Am I helping a friend because the Bible says I should or because I want them to value my friendship? Am I loving my spouse because I love them or because I don’t want them to leave me? Am I obeying the Bible out of duty or out of joy?

I make the ugly girls laugh so the pretty ones will think I’m funny/…tie me to the stake and burn me for this treason/I do all the right things for all the wrong reasons – Osenga

As I mulled over this state of affairs — as though it’s a personal problem and not the perpetual state of fallen humanity — I thought, the best I can do right now as far as a “resolution” is to be who I say I am.

We call that authenticity.

It means that I say I’m a sinner, and I don’t lie about my sin. I confess it openly and glory in forgiveness (in that department, I do OK on the former…I need work on the latter).

It means that I allow the truth of God’s word to permeate conversations, thoughts, actions, values, priorities and friendships.

It means I stop pretending to be someone I’m not and instead labor on inside this fallen state, dragging my broken body and spirit and the mess I’ve made of my life continually before God’s throne and asking Him to redeem it for His glory.

Entering my thirties has meant for me a simultaneous, diametrically opposed growth both in impatience and in grace. As I realize my own shortcomings more and more with age, I am more gracious towards others’. At the same time, however, I am increasingly disappointed in people when they aren’t who they say they are — and then try to hide it. If you are a believer in God’s grace, then you must understand your own lack…your need for it. Why hide from that?

Want a resolution for 2010 and beyond? Be who you say you are.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4:7-18

4 thoughts on “On Authenticity

  1. I can't help but think of former professional football coach Dennis Green saying, "They are who we thought they were," in a post-loss press conference. A humorous moment. I also can't help but think of how sin permeates to the depths of me so that authenticity itself is spoiled – "the heart is deceitful" and sometimes assures me of untruths about myself. It takes God's light shining on it to reveal it for what it really is. So, along with you, I pray that, by His Spirit, we'll keep dragging our flesh into "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God," so that, "beholding the glory of the Lord," we might be "transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another."Nice job quoting something like 25% of Andy's song.

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  2. Kelly,The way God works in my life never fails to bring me to tears. I went to your blog tonight when I realized I had not checked it for a few days. And man it hit me in the face with the things that I have so been bringing before the Lord lately. To see so eloquently put into words some of the struggles of my heart this week. And I love how you decided on authenicity.Often times it is so easy to CONFESS our sins. I oftentimes even find it fairly doable to confess them openly. What is so hard sometimes "is pressing toward the mark" When you are on your knees before our Lord, and you confess again that sin that "so easily besets me" or realize the if you truly examine the "good works" one did this week you have to admit to pruning your garden out of pride or self glorification. How I have wrestled with this. My prayer rises up fervently to do all for His glory and His glory only. Yet :are my treasures in heaven:" or here on earth. Because so much of what I do on close examination seems to be more about making my life easier or myself or to be more well liked. HOLINESS I so desire it. I reach for it, I despair after it. But it is only thru His mercy that I see the depravity of my soul and feel the deep desire for change. What can I do. I can press forward with perseverance, I can examine my heart while on my knees with all my wretched evil sin laid bare., I can KNOW that "by grace I am saved". I can raise my hands that despite how many times I fail "he is faithful and just to forgive"me. And I can glory "in the high calling". And LABOR daily without fail without giving in because it is tough. " Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightly" This I cling to. He promises to work in me MIGHTLY.

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