Authentic Living – Removing the masks

Ernst & Young recently did a study on Generation Z.
Can you guess what came up as their most important value?
a.) Being rich
b.) Being famous
c.) Being authentic
d.) Spending time developing skills for the future.

Interestingly (c) being authentic, rated significantly higher than any other value. This generation is after truth like never before. God has written that desire for deep authenticity into the hearts of men. He is looking for those who will worship in spirit and in truth. Not just in the songs we sing but in every part of our lives.

Since the days of Adam, mankind has been hiding behind fig leaves of all kinds. Sometimes intentionally, but often without us even realising. In certain situations or with certain people we can find ourselves behaving differently to our usual selves. We may wonder after wards, why did I act so strangely in that moment or say that? That was so unlike me!
These moments usually happen for one of these reasons:
• To protect ourselves when we feel vulnerable.
• To cover up if we feel inadequate.
• To meet people’s expectations (or our own).
• To impress others or make a good impression.

When we notice these mismatches of who we are, versus what we allow the world to see- look a little closer! They are an invitation to see what lies below the surface of our lives.

Often we will find a limiting belief or lie in those places. Authentic living means there is continual alignment between our actions, values and beliefs.

Fear of man is almost always at the root of us not showing up authentically. We can seek the approval of man more than we seek the approval of God. Fixing our gaze on man as the provider of our needs for acceptance, provision, even our future.
Proverbs 29v25 tells us how to overcome this fear of man- trust in the Lord!

We can so easily lose sight of our Heavenly Father and His wonderful promises. Tim Keller writes, “The only thing that casts out the fear of man is a deep love relationship with God.” His perfect love casts out fear (1John 4v18). We are deeply loved by a Father who truly knows everything about us. That means we have no reason to hide!
When we find our identity and acceptance in Him, we are able to step out of performance mode and into freedom to explore and grow.

By Claudia McGregor