Sunday, March 3, 2019

Authenticity




authenticity quotesRecently I was reading  the Magnolia magazine in which Joanna Gaines writes this, "Authenticity can't be copied, it can't be false. " She goes on to say, it seems to me that there are very few absolutes in this life, only a handful of things that are true to their core.  If our authenticity is one of these rare undisputed truths, why then does it seem to be such a difficult part of ourselves to live out?

GREAT QUESTION

  For over a year I have been praying, take me deep Lord and I am learning, again, and again going deep means counting the cost to get there.

Maybe its my age but my desire to be real has grown stronger.  I try to live with authenticity, to not portray myself as anything other then a saved sinner, a forgiven sinner, a frail women with a heart for God but also a women who can respond with a string of harsh words  when I am mad.  A women who can smile at you but inside I would like to knock your head off.  A women who gets deeply hurt but you would never know it because I will say I am fine when I am not.  A women who envies what others have at times.  A women who gossips,  a women who does not have it all to gather most of the time.  Etc. 

Not to long ago I was emailing a missionary friend in the jungle of Papua New Guinea, she ask how I was doing.  I decided to tell her about my latest crisis of faith, my struggle with a certain person.  Her response blew me away, she was discouraged by my honesty. Told me it was not what she needed to hear.  I realized she thought I did not struggle like she did.  It was a lesson learned to be discerning about who I am real with. 

 There is a solid sound to the word authenticity.  To the ear it sounds wholesome, well rounded, strong, and full of knowledge and wisdom and confidence.  I think we all crave it the longer we live but fear keeps us from living it out some of the time.  Paul states it well, I am what I am  by the grace of God.  

Here is something I read recently that helped me. 

Authenticity is more for yourself than for other people.


It is more about being honest to yourself than being honest to other people. It doesn’t depend on whether other people perceive you as authentic or fake. It’s not just about speaking the truth. Not everyone will have the privilege to listen in to all your thoughts, emotions or deepest secrets. As long as you are honest with yourself, you are living an authentic life. 

If you really want to authentic just ask  young children how you look.  The other day I needed to wash my hair but had a much to get done before I could do it. So I wrapped a scarf around my head,  it looked like I had no hair. Our three year old grandson, Reedley upon seeing me, yelled, Grandma, what wrong with your hair. I said, you don't think Grandma hair looks good, he replied with his thumb pointing down, not good Grandma, not good.  My goodness, I love that little boy. 

Here is my after thought on Reedley's authenticity.  He was not afraid to answer my question. He knows I will love him no matter what he says, besides if I did not want the truth I should not have asked.  


Of course the greatest example of authenticity is our Savior,  Jesus Christ.  


29 comments:

  1. Oh, my precious friend...THIS was an authentic you. I have always found you to be authentic. We all struggle with this, I do think...the more authentic I am with my children, it seems the more I am judged. Sometimes, harshly. So I, too, struggle to find my balance within myself to "Thine own self be true." I absolutely agree with your statement: Authenticity is more for yourself than other people. Yep! Continue to be you, Wise-hearted, courageous, Betty.

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    1. Not everybody is ready for real at the same time, especially if they are younger. I am the one who has to live out of my head and heart and a frail body so how I view myself has everything to do how well at I do. Your kids may have walked some of your footsteps with you but not in your footsteps. thanks for stopping by Diane, love hearing from you.

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  2. As a pastor I struggle with being too authentic at times. I want people to know I struggle just as they do. Just about 3-4 weeks ago I was preaching and mentioned my questions about the whole 6 day creation being literal or a time period. One family blew up, accused me of teaching evolution, said I would begin teaching abortion is okay, homosexual marriage, etc is okay, and so on. They missed the whole point where I said, "I believe 'In the beginning God...'" Authenticity is good. So is discernment of knowing when to be. Good thoughts Betty.

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    1. Yep, there is danger in voicing our questions. When I was teaching I had two ladies leave because they simple misunderstood what I said. When I went to them individually, one still left and other stayed. The one who stayed told me sometimes I was too real in my teaching. I agreed with her but she could do me a favor by not putting me up on a spiritual pedestal. I am grateful for those who call me on things, even ask for them to do it but also ask them to make sure they understood what I said and the content it was taught in. and really, there are a few who will think they are spiritual cops because it's their gift they say. Someone who teaches needs understanding and longsuffering from those who listen. I do pray for you brother, anytime we stand before a group of people and preach or teach or even share we stick out and make a good target for the devil. Glad you have stuck with it.

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  3. I've been dealing with authenticity in my self talk. That ole' devil loves to bring up past failures but I've learned to admit immediately "I was young and dumb with that" and then go into God's saving grace and love for me. The voice leaves immediately. I think there is a balance of keeping it real, too, along with guarding our hearts. But with that comes wisdom also.

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    1. Perfectly said sister. And only the Holy Spirit can give us that discernment for each encounter. he knows who need more or less real. Thanks Mary for your wisdom on this.

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  4. This is a great question to ask ourselves: Are we being authentic with who we are? Who God made us to be? Yes, I'll agree that if we display that part of ourselves to others, withholding a filter, we can be taken the wrong way, ending up putting someone off instead of embracing them. Still, though we might choose to "fake it" with others, we should never do so with ourselves.
    And I love your grandson's honesty! :)
    Blessings, Betty!

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    1. There is a time to "fake it" or with hold what we really believe for sake of unity or to simple not hurt others. When my mother dementia was so bad I would have to lie to her so she would not get angry and hurt someone. She would ask about her car, which of course she could not drive but I did not tell her we sold it. I just said, when you get out of your wheelchair you will be able to drive it Mom, so you need to do your therapy everyday. To tell her she would never drive again or she would never live alone again was hurtful to her. I spent a lot of time wishing I was an introvert instead of enjoying being an extrovert. I have liked myself for a long time now because my goals are different. My pastor use to tell me, a leopard cannot change its spots, be who God created you to be. He refines what He creates and He does it till we get to heaven and in that process with all the mistakes and failures somewhere along the line we start thinking like Him and our filter becomes Christlike. Thanks Martha for your honesty.

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  5. Thanks Regine for visiting my site. I love how you highlight others post on your blog.

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  6. Great post - we live in a world where there is so little of true authenticity. We are constantly bombarded by images of people who 'appear' to be real but in fact, are air-brushed or only the good they do is published.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, there is little authenticity in this world. Thank God for the discernment of God who knows the hearts of everyone. thanks for visiting my site.

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  7. It takes courage to be authentic. Be courageous.
    More of us need to know that others don't have it
    all together either.
    Hugs,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. I always say, just run with me for a day, you will find I do not have it together sometimes, a lot. It does take courage to be authentic and God will help us because being authentic is part of His character. Thanks Laura for visiting my site.

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  8. It's always a battle between the flesh and Spirit. Not an easy feat. But since knowing the Lord, I'd rather not please any and just always do the right thing. Only by God's grace.

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    1. Me too sister, me to. And it please Him that we want to do right and that makes me want to continue to do right. Blessings.

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  9. That's why I would love to sit down with you and hear your story. Maybe someday.

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  10. I love this post, Betty. SO, so true! I really appreciate your authenticity. It is so refreshing, and I am thankful for you! Many blessings!

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    1. Thanks Cheryl for the encouragement. Praying all is well with you and yours.

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  11. Thanks for your honesty, sister. All of us struggle to one degree or another. We have little choice in this fallen flesh. I too desire to live a life of transparency. It feels so wonderful when we accomplish it... with the Spirit of our Father of course. Without Him we're sunk!

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  12. Hey you are back, great. For me it has taken years to learn that most of my struggles come from being too transparent, or real. Some people are so private my transparency is an offence to them, especially since I am a Christian. I have been told several times to not be so hard on myself. It certainly is an ongoing process that will only end when God takes me home. Again, discernment is the key.

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  13. Betty,
    Like the new look of your blog. And yes, we have to be wise with who we share our true struggles with and yes, Jesus is our best example of authenticity. I've found the path to being as honest as possible with God and myself (and it is a lifelong learniing process) comes when I can truly rest and receive God's love for me, so I know God can know the worst about me and He will still love me. So grateful for God's love and grace. I like Tauren Wells' song, "Known." Many blessings to you :-) And yes, there is a cost and it is painful for God to reveal those things about us that need to change but God's grace covers us.

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    1. Love the title to the song, Known, that word alone speaks volumes. Walking around in our natural with someone who knows all in all brings an awareness that keep certain boundaries in place. One of the most important things that helped me was knowing God created me an extrovert with certain gifts and talents, He did that, not me. That knowledge helps me to be comfortable with Betty which gives me freedom to hear Him when He speaks. Cause when I look at Betty with all her good but fragilities I want to hide and He continue to encouraged me to shine for Him. Blessings my sister.

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  14. For some reason I had not ever been able to comment on your blog, but I think with the google changes, I now can! It was so good to visit with you today, and to just hear your honest heart before the Lord. Truly it seems the closer we walk to the Lord, the more we are aware of our shortfallings, mistakes and failures. The problem is not that we have them, but what we do with them! All of us struggle with our flesh, but the difference is in how we approach the struggle. If we try to hide or ignore the problem, it will only get worse. Instead, we must confront it, and knock it down with the Word of God and not let it take root in our lives. I really appreciated your honest acknowledgement of the struggles that we all have. How sad to believe that there are "perfect" people out there who have arrived and do not struggle. No... it is the struggles in our lives, and our approach to that struggle that makes us stronger. May we always realize just how much we need our LORD in all aspects of our lives! Was very blessed by your words today Betty! Blessings and hugs :)

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    1. Marilyn, it was the change that google made that caused so many issue. I lost many of the comments that were made and many could not comment on my post. So glad you are able to now along with others as I am. Thanks for the confirmation on the words of truth in my post. I am truly a Martha but age has helped me be a Mary more often. This past weekend I was on a ladies retreat with 5 ladies I had never been on one with so they say the zing Betty, the one who can be silly, laugh loud, and just enjoy life more then they knew I could. Usually I am the one they come to for counsel so I have to be a little more down to earth. Both are me, both are real. We had a wonderful time because after the first day everyone was relaxed and more of the real begin to show in us. He made me this way, I don't have to strive to be an extrovert, I do have to strive to be quieter at times and God gives me the patience to be quiet. Again thanks for continuing to try to get on my site.

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  15. The greatest example, "John 8:25: They said therefore to him, Who art thou? [And] Jesus said to them, Altogether that which I also say to you".

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    1. Thanks David for visiting my site. I was impressed how you could say profound truth with so few words. Blessings brother.

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