By AbbyA

JMathis asked you to RevealBindu showed you that . . . Authenticity doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a continual process of God refining us. But like any refinement, it’s painful. It involves revealing truths about ourselves that even we’re blind to.

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a wonderful book called The Relief of Imperfection by Joan C. Webb.  In reading this excerpt, unexpected tears ran down my face.  Tears to my Father as I acknowledged that it’s my desire to provide total support at all times in every situation.  Tears to my Father acknowledging that I sometimes fail.  Tears that I have been forgiven by others, by Him and that God too gives me the opportunity to forgive myself.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt below.  I hope that, if there is something that you have not forgiven yourself for, that you would acknowledge your failure or mistake and accept His forgiveness in place of the guilt.  He is my treasure and wherever He leads me, I will go.

And now, Lord, thank you for giving me so many people, so many opportunities to love.  But please forgive me when I fail them; help them to forgive me, and me to forgive myself.  You made me human, and there is only so much of me to go around.  Marjorie Holmes, Lord, Let Me Love.

Although we long to provide and receive total support at all times in every situation, there is blessing in accepting that it isn’t possible – or wise.  For if we met all of our family’s needs and desires and they met ours, we might be tempted to leave God out of our lives.  And that would be the genuine tragedy.  Joan C. Webb

Authenticity: What Lies Beneath

By Bindu Adai-Mathew

Today is the day, is it not? Well, not really…at least not for me. My Big Reveal has been taking place the last seven years of my life.

After all, there is nothing like the pressure cooker of the first year of marriage to reveal your most stubborn, most selfish side.

And just when you’ve mastered the art of compromising, there is nothing like motherhood that makes you re-learn it all over again. But then you also discover that there’s the softer, unselfish side of yourself that surprised even you.

And, of course, there’s nothing like an unfulfilling career, a layoff, or a struggling economy that throw some additional sparks into your Big Reveal.

Authenticity. Like an onion being peeled layer by layer.

Authenticity. Like the slow eroding of rock by water.

Authenticity doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a continual process of God refining us. But like any refinement, it’s painful. It involves revealing truths about ourselves that even we’re blind to.

I think of Job whom God took everything from to test what was really in his heart. Did he honor God because of his wealth? So what if God took that, his children, and his health from him? Would he still honor God? He did, but would you still be able to?

I think of Peter whom Jesus foretold would deny him 3X before the rooster crowed twice.

 Mark 14:29Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”

30Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

31“No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same. 

And just a few hours later…

 66Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by 67and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.m

68But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed.n

69When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” 70But Peter denied it again.

A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.”

71Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” 72And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.

Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.

Authenticity. What will God reveal about you?

Authenticity. Will you let that remain your defining moment or will you allow it to reshape you into whom God always intended you to be?

Dirty Laundry

By AbbyA

Authenticity.  I am thinking about looking into someone’s eyes.  Rather simple.  We do it in conversation.  Over dinner.  The eyes are a window into the inner thoughts and soul of a person.

There are some eyes that have the gift of seeing the inside of you just by looking briefly into your own eyes.  You know this person, this gift, because even if you know them  – – surfacely – – even if they are an acquaintance – – when they look at you and you at them, you have to choose.

At that glancing moment, you can look away or look back.  If you look back, you have given them a window of opportunity.  They will see into your heartstrings.  The thoughts and feelings that you hold below the surface will be told to them through the language of the eyes.  But, if you look away, they will have known anyway that you have hidden within yourself your authenticity.

Your authenticity.  It is so easy to slant it.  Stuff it.  Perform it.  Deny it.  Look away and pretend that your heartstrings are playing to a happy song.  So easy to pretend that your inner thoughts are in complete harmony with your outer appearance.

Your authenticity.  It is your greatest mark of your individualism.  Your unique blueprint.  The greatest evidence of our Sovereign God.  And, we, in our great wisdom, decide to mask it, hide it, run from it.  Stuff it, slant it.  Deny it and perform it.

I know why.  We all know why.  There is a part of ourselves that is like a dryer.  It spins around – – sometimes you find a sock of shame.  Dirty underwear.  Embarrassing stains and soils.  Undergarments that make us feel self-conscious.  Rips and tears that show our age and maturity.  Tags that reveal both wealth and size.  We’ve all got our laundry spinning around in the dryer.

Authenticity.  It’s spinning.  No one knows, after the cycle, what will show up missing or later found.  No one really feels like hanging shirts or sorting socks.  No one likes wrinkles or pink-whites or crayon stains.  But we’ve all got it spinning in the dryer.

Authenticity.  You’ve got a Maker and a friend.  The Maker already knows your imperfections and your friend has some version of your own dirty laundry anyway.  Why not take a chance on the real you?  Why not take a chance with the one version of you that God felt so strongly about, so lovingly about, that He stamped you into time.  Authenticity, why not?