| Authenticity |

What does it mean to live authentically? To be genuine in actions and words? To be true and honest in my relationship with Christ?

I have been so convicted of this topic recently. I have seen so many people being fake and hypocritical, but I think I’m more sensitive to noticing it because I see it in myself.

To live authentically means to admit one’s struggles, to not put up a facade of a perfect life. I have such a hard time with this when I hear Christians talking about how God has just blessed them and that everything in their lives has been restored and they don’t have problems with resentment, opposition, and so on. Facebook and Instagram obviously don’t help…haha

When I became a Christian, I honestly thought since God was so good, He would just take away all of my struggles and insecurities. But that is not what happened. Becoming a Christian and living for Jesus has honestly made my life harder.

I have never endured persecution like the followers of Jesus did in ancient times, or like people in other countries do. I have faced spiritual warfare in literally every situation God has led me into to do something for Him, whenever my family is following Him into something new, and most recently, when I really decided to start praying for a heart like Jesus. I want to desire Him more deeply, live for Him instead of the things of this world, and for opportunities to share what He has done in my life.

Well, the enemy decides to attack all of my weaknesses: he hits my insecurities, attacks my friendships, and tries to interfere in my family. I know that my addiction will have lasting consequences and people have free-will to act harshly and selfishly, but I feel like he twists everything and makes it worse. But thank the Lord that God takes everything the enemy means for evil and works everything out for the good of those who trust Him and for His glory.

I want to be like Paul and learn to rejoice in suffering and hard times and be thankful that it is all in the name of Jesus. I don’t want to get stuck like the Israelites did in the wilderness, stuck in resenting others’ seemingly perfect lives. I want to not feel ashamed that I struggle in different ways because of the people that act like I don’t have enough “faith” to have this amazing life.

I think to live authentically it is so important to not fall into the trap of comparison. To be so immersed in my relationship with God that I share the good, the bad, and the ugly with people. I mean, how are people going through hard times going to relate if they don’t know what a relationship with God is really like? Well, it’s up and down and sometimes involves yelling, crying, or praising.

So this is me being honest and sharing that perfection is not achievable in this life. I will always fall short because of my sinful nature. But God gives grace and forgiveness and freedom and those that feel so unlovable and undeserving need to hear that. Because I need to hear that. Also, I’m going to take it a step further. If someone is a Christian and is NOT facing opposition, then maybe they are not earnestly, radically following Christ. This is not me being judgmental, it is what is said in the Word. Those who follow Christ will encounter this.

I’m celebrating Jesus and his mercifulness today because I know His purpose will prevail. He has already been victorious in overcoming the world. This life is so short and the enemy doesn’t have much time, so let’s get up, praise our Lord, live authentically, and kick the enemy’s butt by rejoicing in the good times and the bad because we are [more than] conquerors in HIM who loves us!  

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