Keep It Real
Inspired by Falling Asleep in the Lap of Delilah:Lessons on Finishing Well from the Life of Samson by Philip E. Morrison
Being fake is an exhausting practice to maintain. It is also detrimental to many aspects of the human life, such as good business relationships, deep friendships, a marriage founded on trust, a church family that meets prayer needs, and a reputation that allows the opportunity to witness to others. Jesus was the most authentic guy that ever was. He never hid parts of himself or his father, and that was dangerous at times. However, his authenticity paid off when it came time for the Cross.
Samson had an issue with sweeping “small” things under the rug when it came to sin in his life. He kept secrets from the people that loved him the most: his parents. He thought that he could keep secrets from God, too. We all know that when too many small things get swept under the rug, someone is bound to trip and fall flat on their face. Samson’s inauthenticity affected not only himself, but also those who were close to him.
Sometimes being ingenuine seems like the best option in a given situation. Samson thought so, too. God discourages inauthentic behavior because he not only understands the consequences, but he also knows that it’s a hard habit to break. Being authentic takes practice because it’s not always the easiest choice to make. Here are a few noteworthy tips that will help us break down what it means to “keep it real”:
Public vs. Private. The first aspect of an authentic person is that they know what information is meant to be kept private and what should be made public. Friends or family members may share personal news that should not be shared with anyone else without their permission. Earning and maintaining trust is a must when it comes to Christ-centred relationships. In order to grow together on a deep level, someone must be able to know for sure that whatever is shared will be kept private, respectfully. However, if you catch a coworker stealing money at work or you are struggling with a recurring sin, that is the type of information that needs to be brought to light immediately. A noteworthy thought when it comes to this subject is that private conversations always help eliminate assumptions and miscommunication. When deciding when to share or not share, ask yourself the following question:
“Would sharing this information benefit my spiritual health or another’s well-being?”
Make truth a priority. The world will encourage you to lie. The world will tell you that “it’s not a big deal” or “a little fib never hurt anyone”. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus commands of us. Jesus said “do not lie”. There’s not much room for exceptions or interpretation there. With that being said, the pressure to lie is inevitable. However, you can begin to prepare now. Make a game plan. Be prepared and aware. Scout out requests that require you to lie. Avoid those who encourage you to be ingenuine. Make it a point to stand up for truth before you begin. Let those around you know that you refuse to be inauthentic. Don’t forget that it’s never too late to turn around and stop the lie even after it has already begun.
- Church: stop putting up your front that makes it seem like you have your life together. No one really has their life together, its impossible. You put a wall between you and healthy, real relationships when you pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. If you don’t voice your struggles, healing cannot come.
- Friendships: people can easily sniff out an inauthentic friend. A lack of integrity is a major deterrent for good friendships.
- Marriage: there should be absolutely NO secrets in a marriage. Secrets damage a marriage. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose.
- Business or your job: if you let it happen once, it will happen 100 more times, guaranteed. If you think no one will ever know, you’re wrong. Bad choices that involve a lack of integrity in the business world will always come back to bite you. The consequences involve both the present and the future, so wisdom and discernment are a requirement in any profession or job position.
Find accountability. Everyone needs a loving and honest accountability partner when it comes to keeping it real. Someone who is a Christian and knows you very well would work best. Ask this person to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Doing check-ins every so often is a great way to self-assess. Journaling your experience with authenticity is also a great practice to instate. Post reminders around your house or on your phone. Memorize the Scriptures. Know yourself. Don’t forget to pray and ask God to tug on your heart when you have moments of inauthenticity – ask your accountability partner to join you in prayer as well.
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