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    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Authenticity pt. 5

    Most of my past posts have been on authenticity. Many of you have interacted with these posts, and I believe it is the heartbeat of this generation, a desire for intimate authenticity. Being authentic is NOT an easy thing, yet it is a truly amazing thing. I could tell you numerous stories of how I have not been authentic, how I've hidden behind a mask of false pretenses, judgment and secret anger. I could regale you with many stories of my hidden sin and how no one knew who I really was (and I will share many these and many more in my book)...because there are many. There is a laundry list of falsehood within the church and without. I cold tell you how amazing authenticity is within marriage and friendships as well as your relationship with God (because it is). Yet I would be in the wrong if I didn't share with you the COST of authenticity.
    Many times we are hit with great sermons about changing ourselves and walking closer to God and the preacher makes it seem easy as pie...yet when we try to go about following the advice from the pulpit, we're smacked with the reality of how difficult it really is! This post is an effort to be honest with you and share that there is a cost to authenticity. I don't want to pretend that if you takes steps 1,2 and 3 you'll be successfully authentic and there will be no difficulty whatsoever.
    Being authentic will hurt. For example, when I shared with my wife (then fiance) my deep dark sins of my flesh, she was blow away, hurt, saddened and confused. This was a step of authenticity that I took and it hurt. It hurt because I realized that my sinfulness now no longer touched just me and God, but my future wife. It also hurt because I could no longer hide behind this perfect facade that my fiance had set up for me, I felt like I fell short of her expectations and I hate that! I love making people happy...yet if my wife thought she was marrying a perfect man, with no flaws...she would've been smacked with my sin once we were married, then she would say: "You're not the man I married" (like so many wives say).
    Being authentic as you can see has a cost. A big one. The cost of Authenticity is intimacy. You're probably thinking that intimacy isn't a bad thing, why would I be afraid of intimacy. And I would tell you that true intimacy is you being an open book, the person you're intimate with knows you in and out. Intimacy is a cost because you can't be fake and when you are, you get called out on it (my wife points this out to me all the time!). Intimacy means that your "secret" struggles are out there in the open, people know you have issues (like EVERYONE does). It costs a lot to be authentic. *This goes for your relationship with God as well...the more authentic we are with God, the more intimate our relationship with him becomes!*

    I will continue this discussion. Please leave your comments, this open discussion has been good to interact with!