Jun 28, 2015

A Step Towards Authenticity

Read Matthew 23

Don't be a Pharisee!

Jesus tells us all about Pharisees in Matthew 23. Did you know He tells us to practice and obey whatever they say? BUT, and that's a big but - "don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they preach." OUCH!

And he continues - "Everything they do is for show."

Does that sound familiar? Do we see that lived out in our world today?

We see it everyday on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and blogs. Everything they do is for show. Is everything we do for show? We pretend. We are terrified to put anything, but our best foot picture forward. We only post the funny thing our kids say and do, we have to make sure they make us look good. We live in  a #selfie world. Why are we so diligent about only presenting ourselves that have little to do with reality? For the Pharisees what other people thought of them and how they were perceived was supreme. Is that true for you? As much as I wish it wasn't or try not to, it is true for me. I care how people perceive me. I care what is said about me. I hate, yes hate when what I do and who I am is perceived differently than the truth.

The Pharisees gave up genuine relationships to keep up their facade. Pretending was so important that they didn't mind not being able to relate to people. And do you know what happens when you pretend around people? When you never show a weakness? They pretend back. You are, I am sacrificing real relationships. And for what?

Real relationships happen in the messy. Not with everyone. And some people will use your mess against you. But notice I said real relationships. I no longer can settle for fake. I've let what you think about me change me, keep me silent, but now I say sorry, not sorry. I will no longer do that. Jesus hung out with nobodies. I am a nobody. And you know what? I'm ok with that. Or at least, I'm going to start being ok with that. I am overweight, I am not trendy, I don't have a social media following, I am an introverted homebody, I'd rather be at home than be busy, I am lazy and tired. I don't cook.

BUT I am also Jesus' nobody. I love being a wife and a mother. But I make mistakes. All the time. I am not perfect. My kids aren't perfect. My husband isn't perfect. My marriage isn't perfect.

But I think it's time to get authentic. Jesus requires authenticity. I'm ready to take a step towards it, towards Him.

I am ready to admit my failures and stop worrying what others will think of me. How they choose to perceive me is up to them.

We are so careful to "clean the outside," but inside we are filthy. Jesus tells us to first wash the inside, and then the outside will become clean.

I am ready to be the same on the outside as I am on the inside. And you know what? I am one beautiful mess. And I bet you are too.

Today I will live a real life. When someone asks "How are you?" My response will be truthful even if they look at me a little befuddled. Why say fine if we are not. Or if I say good, know that that's the truth. But also be prepared to hear "not so good" if that's how I am. When I have answered that way in the past I have been told that I am complaining asked what do you have to complain about? I can't be afraid of judgment or let what you think of me dictate my response. I am taking a step towards authenticity. Because I can no longer live in this social media perfect life. I can no longer let you silence my voice. 

These thoughts were inspired by reading Jen Hatmaker's devotional Out of the Spin Cycle chapter 1 and Jesus' words in Matthew 23.  

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