Seeking to live an authentic life is a common goal. We want to be unquestionably who we are and have others see that too. Our authentic selves are “real” and being real is desirable. To live authentically is to have our inner thoughts, beliefs, and feelings match our outer presentation and behavior (dictionary.com). You are who you are, through and through. This isn’t just a trendy way of talking and instagramming and living life, it is also biblical.
“God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
This kind of Christian authenticity doesn’t start from a place of first seeking to find out who you are, it starts from the place where you are known deeply and intimately. God knows you to your core and all of the really real you. By God’s grace and love when you choose to follow Him, he forgave and shed light into all the places of our beings.
To authenticate means to establish the authorship or origin of something conclusively and unquestionably (dictionary.com). Jesus has authenticated us before God. We are unquestionably established as children of God – forgiven, redeemed, made new. God is established as the author of lives and Christ authenticates this for us.
Starting here in this close, core place where we are known and authenticated by Christ before God will allow living authentically to be a reflection of God’s already accomplished work in our life. If we are authentic, our behaviour will reflect our inner life; redeemed and transformed by God. If Christ is our authenticator, we can be real about where we have come from and honest about where we are going.
Acting out authenticity requires vulnerability. It will allow us to graciously share truth, confess sins, and give and receive forgiveness. We can genuinely live life with great joy sewn into the seams because we understand God’s love and grace. We can honestly proclaim that Christ has already justified us before God. This work is done forever and it’s worth celebrating. Our lives need to reflect this truth.
Seeking to live an authentic life without letting our faith permeate it will create confusion, dissatisfaction, restlessness, and discord in our heart and soul. It will tear us apart. We are called to walk in the light and be a light to others. If we truly desire to live authentically, our inner life and proclaimed faith must impact our actions.
Really living authentically starts in still quiet places. Building an authentic life where the outside actions reflects the inside light will be a lifelong journey with a great reward. Our outer lives will show more truth-telling, heaven-hoping, God-proclaiming, sin-confessing, other-focused living. This is being real. This is genuine love. Living authentically through the power of the One who has authenticated us is empowering and freeing.
When you think about being authentic, don’t forget about the One who authenticates you before God. This is real life.