Monday, August 01, 2011

Get Real

Resume: a written exaggeration of only the good things a person has done in the past, as well as a wish list of the qualities a person would like to have.                  Bo Bennett

“Authenticity” is a buzz word in the culture today. When analyzing the current, youngest adult generation, people often describe them as people who desire authenticity in others.

Does their desire for authenticity come from living in a world of duplicity, deception, and technological illusions.

Interactions often come in the form of electronic dialogues with someone that we only know through their online personae. We see a picture or video and wonder if it is real or computer generated or photoshop enhanced.

Authenticity is essential in healthy relationships and for a strong marriage.  Being authentic begins with getting real with myself.

John Calvin sums up the place where people often find themselves: The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.
[Not the real me!]
When we travel, in the hotel bathroom, they often have one of those mirrors with extreme magnification. At my age, it is terrifying to look in that mirror and see the reality of the wrinkles in my skin. So, I choose not to. It doesn’t change the truth though.
I can’t do much about my wrinkles but I can take a close look at my heart and see the truth.
What keeps us from being honest with ourselves?  For some, the pain is too great—pride precludes us from admitting that we are in a mess and we don’t know how to get out or that we haven’t done what we know to do.
God knew from the beginning that humans would have a hard time examining their own hearts. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?  Jeremiah 17:9 (NAS)
But I can go before him and say Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. Psalm 26:2 (NIV)
He will show me the truth about my life. He will also show me the truth about His love for me. He will give me His presence and power to grow to be more like Him.

A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving.  Augustine
One problem with being deceptive is that eventually we may even be honest with ourselves. How do we know if we have reached that point?
It takes courage to ask those who know you best. Then, even more courage to admit it to yourself and ask the Lord to change you.
Give your spouse, your parents, your adult children, your closest friends permission to tell you the truth about your character and your authenticity.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
  • Do I often have broken relationships?
  • Do other people doubt what I say or not trust my word?
  • Do I blame others for what is wrong in my life?
  • Do I have overdue bills or creditors calling me?
  • Do I ignore others criticisms of me or justify destructive behavior?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, examine your heart. Ask God to show you if you are really being honest with yourself. He will lovingly guide you to the truth.

For more on this topic, read our next post.