Friday, November 9, 2012


I have been struck lately by the idea of authenticity and how that plays out in our lives on a daily basis.

Websters defines authentic as "not false… true to one's own personality, spirit, or charater…"

Social media (FaceBook, Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) have many of us presenting a life that is not necessarily as authentic or real as our lives actually are.  I have read blogs that have made me wonder if these people ever have dirty underwear on the floor and mold in their showers.  Their birthday parties for their kids are over the top… fancy cookies, decorations, horses.  I can't keep up with such expectations. It seems as if no one can be imperfect these days.

Teenagers post happy, cute, fun pictures of themselves on Instagram.  Always smiling, always looking their best… competing to see who as the most "likes" on a given post or picture.  That is so much pressure to put on each other at such a young age.  It seems to me that kids may always feel that they are not good enough.  So much is given to our kids so young and it is EXPECTED that they will have these things.  Parents don't seem to know how to say no.  Just because you get a good deal on a iPhone and data package does not mean it is the right thing to give a 13 year old.  Do they really need access to the Internet at all hours of the day, posting pictures on Instragram during the school day?  I want my kids to know they are enough, without the electronics, fancy jeans and 50 likes on their pictures.

The idea of being authentic has really struck me lately as I see people socialize with people that they do not necessarily like or at least they have indicated to me that they don't agree with the way they handle their lives.  They seem to seek out opportunities to be with people that they dislike or don't have much in common.  Please don't misunderstand me.  All of us are in situations where we socialize with people (on your kids sports team, your kids being in class with a particular kid year after year) that we don't agree with how they handle things or we would not be best of friends with them.  You know the ones.  But I am able to be kind, social and even enjoy my conversations with most people.  However, I will not seek out a friendship with someone who consistently handles situation with their kids, or at school or their personal affairs in a way that is counter to my beliefs and values.  That to me, would not be authentic to my personality or character.

One could make the argument that as a Christian, I should seek out those type of relationship to be a light to someone.  And, I do agree with that to a point.  I think I am a light when I am friendly and interested in most people I encounter and do my best not to judge someone else as I do not know their walk or struggles in life.  I think it is telling that I am NOT invited to certain functions.  I think some people can tell I am not willing to "play the game" that is so prevalent these days.  And while I might be initially hurt (I am human after all), at the end of the day, I want all my relationships in my life to authentic… to be based on honesty, integrity and real connection.  I want to spend my time with people who I can be real with and honest with without a second thought that the other person will judge me or use what I say in a way that could hurt anyone.  Or maybe they don't invite me because they think I am a stick in the mud!  Ha.  Either way, at the end of the day, I am OK with that.

When my life comes to a close, I want people to say I was authentic.  That I was real and genuine.  That I walked the talk.  I have a long way to go in many areas for sure.  When I am screaming at my kids to STOP YELLING (Oh, the irony in THAT ONE), I am not genuine or authentic for sure.  My heart and actions do not match.  But I think I am starting to actually feel and see the dilemma of living out my Christian faith in this world.  God lets me know instantly when I am made a bad choice (like a swear word in front of my kids or making poor financial decision that in the past I would not have thought twice about).  I can see the struggle my kids go through when they don't have the latest and greatest social media fad that all their friends have because the implications it can have.

But, I'll continue to walk this walk, grow and be as authentic and true to myself and my beliefs as I can.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works and in your teaching show integrity and dignity.
Titus 2:7

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:17

No comments:

Post a Comment