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?

The Big Reveal

By JMathis

Today is a day of reveling.

Reveling in the art of relaxation.

Reveling in acts of celebration, friendship and laughter.

Reveling in putting the letter ‘b” in the word “labor” to very good uses: Barbeques, Beer, Beach Balls, Bubble Baths.

Reveling in your officially sanctioned day of rest. Why, thank you, Federal Government. Glad you noticed how hard I was working.

Today is not a day for revealing.

Nope, not today. Today is your day off.

Today is not a day for revealing that you are deceitful.

Today is not a day for revealing that you are inauthentic.

Today is not a day for revealing that you are a big, fat phony.

Okay, maybe today is not the day, but unfortunately, I’m looking at your upcoming schedule, and you seem pretty booked for the rest of the year. Can you clue me in on when you will actually have time to launch your Big Reveal?

You know, the Big Reveal.

The day you tell God that you’re a two-faced hypocrite?

Yes, I’m talking to you. Mainly to me, but also to you. Don’t look so shocked.

Do you think He doesn’t know the real reason why you raise your hands to worship in church? Is it because that’s what everyone else is doing? Or, is it because you’re so self-righteous, that you need to show everyone else what a model churchgoer should look like?

Do you think He doesn’t hear you harping on and on to others about the importance of reading the Bible and praying everyday, when you haven’t even picked up a Bible in months? When you haven’t had a real conversation with Him in years?

Do you think He doesn’t see right through your Church Lady act, where you show up every Sunday at 10am on the dot, with your perfect GQ husband, your 2.5 kids who quote scriptures in Hebrew and Greek, and your glittery red pen that you use to sign up to volunteer for Youth Group Wednesdays, Prayer Team Thursdays, Feeding the Homeless Fridays and Women’s Potluck Saturdays?

You do know that He doesn’t care about all of this stuff, right?

You do know that He only wants you, right?

Alone.

By yourself. Without interruptions. Without distractions. Without anyone else or anything.

Not you, as your big, bad self, but you, as a child of God, lying prostrate on the floor, crying out in the stillness of the night.

Crying out for forgiveness. Crying out for His touch. Crying out until you hear answers.

Crying out to be rid of your bleeding, busted, messed-up life.

When will you make time to show Him your Big Reveal? When will you make time to come before Him broken, contrite, repentant and ready for Him to fill you? When will you make time to come before Him stripped of your airs, your pride and your holier-than-thou pretentiousness?

When will you stop reveling behind the arrogance of your big, bad self?

When will you start revealing to Him that you are lost? That you are desperate? That you are hurting? That you are struggling? That you are hanging on by a thread and barely making it?

When will you start revealing that you are nothing without His grace, mercy and salvation?

When do you stop wearing your mask in front of others?

When do you stop wearing your mask in front of Him?

Today is the day.

Today is the day.

Today is your day.