Smiling at everyone as I walked in the doors with my well dressed and put together family. “I’m good. How are you?” “Good.” The response always comes back. Person after person smiling face after smiling face the responses always the same. A church full of people who are doing Good. My wife and I drop our kids off at Sunday school and we take our places in Church. Singing along to “I surrender all” and many other songs that frankly I am singing words and that is it. But no one knows that. No one knows what is going on underneath the surface in my mind and heart. I must maintain the good little boy image. I must not admit to any struggle. I must have it all together.
In the Church or at least in my own heart we are free to admit the need of a Savior before we except Christ but afterward that is a whole other matter. After the acceptance of Christ we fall into the lie that we are now perfect. We wouldn’t say it like that but we forget that we will never arrive. We forget that we will always need a Savior. We often take this beautiful gift we are freely given and morph it into a show of falseness.
A few years ago I had enough and got to the end of myself. Though it didn’t fix me I now have an authentic vibrant relationship with my Heavenly Father and His broken followers. I’m still tempted to hide but the freedom of authenticity is too great to ever go back. There are many areas of my life that are not “fixed” and I have become ok with that. These 3 steps are key to an authentic Christian walk.
Honesty. Admitting the problem is always the first step. The first point at which we are cleansed is the point that we admit there is something to clean. Removing excuses and being real about where you are is the only way to true change. It is not saying your struggle is ok but just being authentic about where ever you are. Admitting that you are powerless against a struggle is the only way to allow God to work. He will always work when you are honest though it may look different then what you think it will. Honesty is needed to live an authentic walk.
The Cross. If you accepted Christ it always has been and always will be about the cross and the redemptive power of it. In surrender to God all things are possible the problem is that most of us Christ followers start to rely on our strength and might instead of staying in a place of reliance in God. The redeeming power of the blood of the lamb is enough for what you did before Christ and all that you have done and will do after. The price is paid and it does you or Him no good to beat yourself a little longer.
For years, I thought that beating myself up for my imperfection was part of the retentive process. The main problem with this is that it takes our eyes off of God and puts our eyes on our humanity. This form of sin repentance leads to hiding and a false humility. Believing the Cross is enough is crucial to an authentic Christian walk.
Confession. I wish that confession was not part of the solution but unfortunately it is. From experience, this never gets easier. The more hidden and ashamed the sin the harder it is to look into another person’s eyes and admit where you come up short. In James 5:16 it states, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Confession to a small group of trusted individuals is part of the healing process. In this moment of confession I am the most aware of dying to flesh. In those moments I think we say I care more about my Relationship with my King then I do about what other people think of me.
An amazing thing happens when we confess sin to people going the same direction as us. They hold us accountable, grieve with us, and tell us who we are in Christ. They remind us that the sin does not define us but our relationship with Christ that defines us. Confession is necessary to a vibrant authentic Christian walk.
An authentic life is part of the freedom that God gave us. You will never be perfect but in a state of perfecting until you die. We are made righteous in Christ but many of us confuse this with perfection. Trust God to shape and mold you into His image and embrace the fact that arrival is a myth. Embracing our imperfection is part of enjoying the journey God has you on. You and I will always need a Savoir and we will always fall short. Be real and honest this is something God can always work with. Be blessed on your journey.
Do you struggle with being authentic?
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