Thursday, 3 October 2013

Complete Authenticity

I was going to post today for the Love is... series but wanted to talk about something that has been tumbling around in my head this past week.  I am not sure if I am any closer to an answer or truth but maybe it will resonate with you. 

At our moms group we have just begun to read a book called "No More Perfect Moms" by Jill Savage. 
The website, found here , has a lot of great information about the book and Jill. 

This week we discussed being real and authentic with other women and not trying to put on a mask of perfection and having it all together. 

As a group we talked about the importance of being real with other women. There were a few that feel that we should be real but only be fully open with a few very select people so that we are not always just airing our dirty laundry for the world.  

I am torn.  

On one hand I agree. It is a really good idea to guard ourselves with some people and not just let everyone into our deepest darkest selves. (I think really just our spouses should be at that level of openness with us anyway) 

But I disagree in that I think we should walk in complete authenticity with the world. If we are not truthful and honest about ourselves we get caught up in portraying perfection, we trap others into feeling like they have to be perfect and we make anyone who doesn't measure up (which is everyone, including ourselves) feel like a failure. 

But here is the key to making it all work the way that it should. 

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deedsand glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14

 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practises and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all.
 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:9-17

If we are to be the light to the world just like we are called to be, how can we be honest and let the people around us see how completely sinful we are? 
How can we let them see our struggles and shame without turning them away from Christ? 
Who really wants to hear all about how horrible things are going in our lives at times, isn't being negative going to turn people away?

The key to all of this is simple to understand but difficult to walk out in life. 

Okay that sounds scary, let me break it down a little. 

1. We need to be real with people so that they do not feel like they will never measure up, that their sin is too terrible, and they cannot be loved.  Living authentically as a Christ follower, we can show our sin and failures and show that we are loved and forgiven anyway. We can show the world that we still make mistakes, we still aren't even close to perfect, but God still loves and still forgives. 

Living like that shows Christ's love and helps keep us away from acting "holier than though".

2.  People don't always want to hear about how horrible you think things are going for you.
 No one wants to see a million and one Facebook statuses about how terrible everything in your life is going. Yes, your being honest, but part of being a Christ follower is that we have a HOPE.  
We need to start walking in that hope and sharing it with others. 

So instead of our status reading:
 Anita is so sick of her grumpy kids screaming and having meltdowns.  I just need them to nap so I can rest for a single second today.  Man am I glad there is coffee. 

Maybe it could read something like this:
  Anita and the kids had a rough night, I am feeling very thankful today that my kids still nap and that I live in a place where I can get coffee easily. 

Or if you were feeling honest:
Anita is having a rough morning and is struggling to find something positive to hold onto to get me through today.  Pray for me. 

or if you were really working to try to be positive:
Anita is struggling today but is choosing to find the ray of sunshine in my dark and crazy morning.  I thank God for these children he gave me and that their voices can be so loud. I can't wait to see how God uses them for his glory. 

I totally understand that not everyone is ready to just share their faith all over Facebook and that's a personal thing. 
But we can share our negative life events without always sounding negative. And that is really important.  
If all we ever share is negative stuff, we loose our ability to reach people for Christ. People start to think "What's so good about being a Christ follower if everything is always negative for them?"

3. We need to walk this out in our lives and conversations too.  
Often as moms, we get together and we unload. We meet with other moms and we finally have another grown up to talk to, that can somewhat understand what we are going through, so we explode with all of the frustrations and heartaches and troubles we are going through. But if we are trying to be Completely Authentic, we need to not only share the hard things, we have to shine the light on the positives as well.  Or at least show that we are trying to find the positives or holding onto the hope that there will be one soon. 

My dad joked with us the other day saying, "I know the will of God for everyone I meet."   Then he laughs and says, "That they would give thanks in all circumstances." 
The crazy man is right. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16

If we can be Completely Authentic and show that we are even trying to rejoice in the hard times it shows great character and shows others that we do have something different that may be worth searching for. 

* This is something I have totally been failing at lately but am working on, those close to me please remind me what I am working on and remind me how important it is to find the positives and hold onto hope. 

I hope that made sense, It has been bouncing in my head for days so I don't know if it made it onto the screen with all of the parts intact. 
Blessings Friends. 

1 comment:

  1. This is great Anita! I have been thinking about all this too. Another thing that has come to my mind is what Jill Savage said that she was a "public person". Her calling was public. She writes, she speaks, she is a voice. Some of us as women have that call too. I believe I am one of them, and sense that you are too.

    Sometimes that can make us vulnerable. We might seem like we share too much, but I agree with you it's about how we share it. We share the deepest stuff to the people we trust, but we are real with everyone so they can be freed from their chains and find hope as we do.

    Just some of the stuff God has been talking to me about it too :)
    Thanks for sharing your heart girl!