Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Can You Be Too Authentic?

I just read a post from my dear friend Gindi, on insecurity and authenticity in the life of faith.  Go check it out HERE - she is part of a wonderful group of extremely talented writers, who write every Tuesday about having a God-sized dream.  I refer to Gindi a lot because she is someone I count on regularly for prayer, wisdom and insight in everything from decorating and fashion, to advice about marriage and certainly how to "do" this relationship with God.  She is so real about how she lives her faith and in my last post about pain, she is one of those people at the top of the list I love to read.

As I sit here contemplating my unproductive day and lick the chocolate off my arm from where I was sampling a....well....Whitman's Sampler, I think about what it means to really live for God.  And I think when you do that out-loud, it's going to be make people uncomfortable. 

In cases where people voice their discomfort, the well-intentioned advice is usually to back off a bit.  I don't yet have a good response for that.  How do we take our faith seriously - and seriously live out loud for Christ - but at the same time, chill out about it?

Inside these well-meaning comments, I hear concern about burn out. That might be a legitimate outcome, but it's not the end of the world.  Living with God, just like living with anyone else, has it's ups and downs.  Like any good relationship - you are bound to hit rough patches when you live so closely.  And, truly, you can't get any closer than Christ when you let Him in. 

If I'm really being authentic though, I have to take what Jesus said seriously.  I have to look to Him for direction when the world tells me to cool it.  What I have found in the Scriptures is that Jesus didn't believe in moderation when it comes to living for God.  You are either all in or all out.  Here are some quick references I found to that point:
The most convicting verse I've found to date is from Revelation 3:16.  There is no halfway point that will satisfy our Heavenly Father.  We either go all the way or we don't go at all.  I can't find anywhere He ok'd with hiding who we really are in Him.  He wants us OUT THERE.

From what I can tell - the Lord WANTS messiness.  He wants mistakes to be made.  He wants confusion because it is in that weakness of ourselves, He can truly be on display.  It is in the mistakes that His grace can be demonstrated.  I will not always get my faith right, so I must crave that grace.  That's what makes this journey so valuable.  In the end, the jewelry He adorns me with are the lessons I learn in living for Him. 

So, can you be TOO authentic?  I don't think so.  Let's embrace that sometimes we will do it badly.  I have and I am sure I will again.  I have to be open to giving Him more room to work and making me less myself. 

Kurt Cobain was someone who was familiar with making people uncomfortable, but he was nothing if not authentic, even if it cost him his life.  I'll close with his words, as they relate to how I want to be remembered for my believe in Jesus:

I'd rather burn out than fade away.

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