From processed foods to spray tans to Laguna Beach to colored contacts to hair extensions to social networks to advertising to…well, you get the point… our culture is starved for authenticity. In our products, in our relationships, and especially in our spiritual lives, we’ve glossed over the real and injected, morphed, and disguised some of the most valuable things in our lives.
Let me start by saying, I’ve been so blessed by each and every incredible person I’ve met along this exciting, intense, and challenging journey (read: life). Most people I know don’t have the database of loyal, encouraging, and exhorting friends who consistently breathe authenticity into their lives as I do. Please note: without them, I’m a MESS. And while I’m so enjoying all my *free time* in Niceville these days, I find myself craving the depth and significance of these relationships. Remember when all I had to do was knock on a neighbor’s door or drive a half mile down the road? College is too short!
Just recently I had the privilege of making a short appearance at a women’s retreat for FSU’s Campus Crusade ministry. The night that I arrived, to hone in on their previous talk, the girls asked all of us to participate in a survey. Each girl was presented with a list of common struggles or sins and was asked to check off any they had committed in the past anonymously. Now, stay with me… After checking off each item (examples: I’ve cheated on my boyfriend, I’ve gossiped, I’ve looked at pornography, etc…), the anonymous surveys were then collected, shuffled, and passed back at random until each girl was holding the survey of another girl. Then, someone read through the list and asked each person to stand if that particular item was checked. What a way to build authenticity in a group of college women!!!! I was FLOORED by the responses and the maturity of these women and longed to share my heart with each of them.
And what a way to debunk our culture! “When people stop being polite… and start getting real…” What MTV tried to do, but failed to do…these girls BROUGHT IT. Let’s be authentic people of Christ- not for the sole purpose of “Being Real”, but so that the TRUTH of who Christ is can shine in our weaknesses. THAT’s true authenticity. And I LOVE it.