Mark Affleck

BEWARE! Authenticity Can Become Another MASK

May 13, 2021
Spiritual Growth

We’ve established that our Christian faith walk needs to pivot on BEING in Christ—yielding to God in full surrender and obedience to HIS plan–and not just DOING spiritual things in the world. That naturally leads to living with SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY—dropping the pretend game and emulating Christ.
OK…fair enough. That makes sense. But there is a TRAP in this part of the journey that is hard to spot.
We must be on high alert for any sign that we are overemphasizing being AUTHENTIC. That is the first indication that we are about to tumble into a trap where our spiritual authenticity becomes ANOTHER MASK we wear as a tarp over our sins and spiritual “shortcomings.”
This authenticity trap shows up when we allow the world’s definition to creep in and animate our effort to be real. You’ve heard the SECULAR chant: “Let go of who you think you should be and embrace who you are.”
The danger comes when our pretending to be AUTHENTIC becomes an extension of pretending to be “good.” We are not, as followers of Christ, trying to “be good” and “validate our authentic self.” We are seeking God’s grace to become the person he made us to be.
There’s a Grand Canyon-size gulf between those two approaches, right?
SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY is not trying to cover up anything. Not trying to make a point to the world. Not trying to shape a “Christian image.”
SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY is expressing our freedom and restoration in Christ. It is forward-focused on what we need to learn from God—not reflecting in the rear-view mirror of life on what we have already learned.
SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY is so much more than being real. Remember the world’s definition: embrace who you are. But that’s not the question! The question is who were you created to be?
We were created by God to surrender our life in obedience to Christ. To find our purpose on earth. And to love and tell others about God’s Good News so his Kingdom grows and he gets all the glory.
SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY is the manifestation of God-generated GRACE, not man-generated “REALITY.”
I ask God to help me identify “authenticity traps” along my faith walk. To give me the wisdom to know who HE wants me to be, not who the world wants me to be.
Is your spiritual authenticity more than “being real”? Is it being who God created you to be?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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