This is probably going to be a true ramble because these thoughts haven’t completely solidified in my head, but there is an edge to them that I can’t get rid of.
So why not just share it with you anyway.
I’ve talked about authenticity and living honestly on this blog. I don’t think I’m changing my mind about what I’ve said before, but I’ve seen a danger in using this terminology without balance.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
I caught myself the other day talking about “living my truth.” And for some reason, when the words came out of my mouth that time (because they have come out of my mouth before), they felt wrong, disturbing, like something was off.
And I realized that there is a danger in pursuing an authentic life. The danger is that I can be focused so much on living my truth that I forget I’m supposed to be living THE truth, that is in Jesus Christ. I can center my life so much inward that I never look upward and lose all my energy to live outward.
But no matter how inward I will go, I will never understand myself or know myself the way God knows me. He knew me ever since I was knitted together in my mother’s womb. He knows what will make me smile, what will make me belly laugh, what will make me cry, and what makes me scared. He wraps his arms around me the second before the heartbreak. And he doesn’t let go until the panic washes through me.
And God is proud of his creation. He roots for us. He’s the father in the stands demanding the coach put his kid in because he believes in us. We can do it, not because of some secret we have figured out on our own, but because His strength is pulsing through our spirit. We got this, even if we have no control over whatever this is, because ultimately, He’s got this.
I can’t continually try to get to know myself, to perfect myself, before going out in the world. It doesn’t work that way. I thought I had to live perfectly, to know perfectly, to speak perfectly, to engage perfectly before going out and making a difference in the name of Jesus. I thought it would make it easier. But I’ve learned that life is way more complicated and messy, and self-perfection isn’t sustainable, engageable, or even effective. It’s going to take a mess of a person to reach into the nooks and crannies of the world to reflect a light of Jesus in the darkest corners.
And every time I obsessively try to find out who I am, my truth, my way, my light, I forget that there is only One Truth, One Way, and One Light that is Jesus. I can’t forget that. He knows the way through this life. He said it was gonna be hard. He said we would suffer. But the only way I will feel complete and whole is through Him.
Again, there is nothing wrong with living an authentic life, a good life, a life lived in truth and honesty and transparency. I’m all for that. And I even think that Jesus wants us to live authentically, honestly, truthfully, transparently. But I also think He calls us to live holy and righteous lives, led by the Spirit (not our own), with our feet firmly planted in His Truth.
What do you think?