Lord, teach me what you want me to do, and I will live by your truth. Teach me to respect you completely. Psalm 86:11
Authenticity is “being actually and exactly what is claimed.” (www.merriam-webster.com)
Have you ever given advice you have difficulty applying in your own life? Have you ever stretched the truth (a.k.a., lied) to make yourself look a little better or perhaps a little worse in order to avoid doing something? (Perhaps you’ve even deceived yourself.) Are there areas of your life in which you know there are principles you should follow, but you just don’t seem to be able to discipline yourself to apply them or you struggle with how they apply directly to you?
Truthfulness isn’t just about what you say. It’s about the way you live. It paves the way for an authenticity in our lives, a perspective that reflects actually and exactly what we claim. Authenticity is a reflection of God, which means if we want authenticity, we can’t look in our own mirror; we have to use God’s.
Truthfulness affects others. It affects their faith, because it affects how they see God. Whether I have a long-term relationship or momentary encounter with someone, my character, the way I behave, my attitude…all combine to reflect the God who created me for purpose on this earth. No moment, no situation, no person is insignificant.
And here’s the truth. I don’t always reflect the truth of God’s character. Sure, sometimes it has nothing to do with deceit. It might have to do with ignorance. But in all honesty, how often are we ignorant in a situation…versus how often werationalize we’re ignorant? It’s much easier to plead innocence than to take responsibility.
Not listening to God isn’t the same as not knowing his character. We live in a “shirk responsibility” culture. It’s easier to blame someone else. But when it comes to your personal walk with God, it’s between you and him. I can assure you, he’s not the one creating space. Are we distant from God sometimes? Yes, but we can acknowledge the distance and move. Or we can choose instead to try to figure out the distance, whine about the distance, and end up in the same place weeks or months from now. Are we hurt or confused sometimes? Yes, but again, we can acknowledge our emotions and experience and begin the process of moving to another place, or steep in the turmoil and end up in the same situation, or worse, weeks or months from now.
You’re not a victim. How can I be so sure? Because I know my God. He’s not a victimizer. He’s a Victor. He created you. And he is Truth. There is truth in you. We need to let him reveal it to us, so you see the reflection God sees. So others see the reflection God sees.
God understands all hearts, and he sees you. Proverbs 24:12
(For practical tools for how to “get R.E.A.L.,” authentic in your Relationships, Experiences, Attitudes and Leadership, check out Week Eight of Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence.)
Check out Susan’s blog at http://purepurposebook.