In the last couple months, “authentic” has become my absolute favorite word!
The simple definition of authentic is this: representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to one’s self.
Being Authentic with your friends.
Here is the thing, it’s so easy to create this fake picture of yourself as a positive person who never struggles with anything. (trust me, I know) Then at night, sit alone in your struggle and misery feeling like no one cares.
It’s so easy to tell our friends, and everyone else around us, that we are fearless, our struggles are slim, and we simply are just happy all the time.
While there are times when this is true, most of the time, it’s not. We say these things because we either believe them to be true ourselves, or we want others to think highly of us.
Being authentic with others means that we need to take down this shield. Take down the shield and be honest. Let people know that you struggle. Let people know that you are not perfect. Let others know that you are not always ok.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17
Why is this important?
Just as you feel so alone in your bed at night as tears stream down your face, so do many of your friends.
During my 7th grade year, I used to think that I was the only one who struggled with the stuff that I considered to be petty. I thought I was the only one who would come home and cry over these things that seemed so worthless.
This honesly made me feel ashamed. Why was I worried about all these little things? Why did they matter so much to me?
Little did I know, people around me struggled with the same thing. They thought their struggles were petty and were ashamed of them too.
This made me feel a little bit better. Knowing that someone else felt the same way I did made me realize that maybe my struggles weren’t petty. Maybe they actually were struggles that everyday people deal with.
The thing is, I would have never known anyone struggled with anything like me if they would not have opened up and been authentic. If they would have kept their struggles all bottled up, I probably never would have known how to overcome mine.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
So, when I say be authentic with others, this is why. Other’s need to know you aren’t perfect. Other’s need to know that you cry yourself to sleep too.
With this vulnerability, you will build friendships, genuine and raw friendships. Not friendships that will break because they decided they did not like you anymore. But a friendship that will last because of both of you being authentic and sharing your struggles.
With the vulnerability, you could save someone’s life. Some people feel so alone and like absolutely no one feels the way they do. So by being authentic, you show them they aren’t alone. They do matter, and they do deserve a place in this world.
Being Authentic with God
I’ve talked about being real with God before, but honestly, it’s so important I will talk about it again and again.
When we are ashamed of what we are feeling (like my 7th grade self once was), it’s easy to keep our struggles hidden. It’s easy to not want to share them with anyone.
Yet here is the thing, God already knows your struggles, your shame, and your anxieties. He knows what you are trying to hide.
He is holding your relief, your forgiveness, and the strength you need to make it through. Yet, in order to get this, we must first become authentic, admitting our struggles, worries and all our shame. We must first admit that we can’t make it in this life without the Lord.
It’s this moment of authenticity that will free you. This moment of surrender when you find your strength.
There is a song that I have recently fallen in love with and it just so happened to play at the same time that I began writing this section of the post. So, I want to share what the chorus of this song says:
Blessed are the poor who have nothing to own
Blessed are the mourners who are crying alone
Blessed are the guilty who have nowhere to go
For their hearts have a road to the kingdom of God“Kingdom of God” By Jon Guerra
And their souls are the songs of the kingdom of God
And they will find a refuge for theirs in the kingdom of God
You see, even through your struggles, your tears, and you pain, you still belong in the kingdom of God. God did not say, “Alright, you are being too sensitive. Your should not be struggling so you no longer belong with me.” No, he says, “Bring me your struggles, your pain, your shame, and you worries. Let me give you strength and love you in a way you don’t even understand. Let me give you grace and mercy and the strength to make it through today.”
“Even before a word is on my tongue,Psalm 139:4
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”
God is such an understanding God! He knows we go through struggles. He knows we are not perfect. He understands it all even when no no one else does.
That’s why it’s so important to be authentic with God. When you surrender, you will have a peace that makes no sense to the human mind.
Now, I could write forever on this topic (so there may be more posts about this) but for now, this is what I want to leave you with.
Be authentic with others. Don’t be that fake friend. Be real and let others know you struggle too. Chances are, when you become vulnerable, so will someone else. This will make you both feel much less alone.
Be authentic with God. Share with him your deepest anxieties and struggles. Share with Him your heart. He understands what you are going through and he wants you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Finally, know that you are not alone. God loves you so much and he understands exactly what you are feeling even when no one else does.
I hope that this encourages you this week to break down that shield. Surrender to the Lord. Be authentic!
See ya next time beautiful people,