We all want it-this life of authenticity. You'll hear it a thousand times in our society. It's a word that this generation has adopted as it's very favorite, it would seem.
Perhaps it's the fact that the idea holds a sort of beauty, and that beauty charms us, enthralls us, captivates our full attention.
Our Instagram feeds give us away in this whole pursuit. They show what our hearts are after, and what it is that we crave. We're after authentic-there's no doubt about it. But what is it, I wonder, that authentic really means?
If you take a quick look around you might think it means placing yourself in the beauty of nature. You might start to get the idea that it can be used to describe a certain type of friendship, or what community really means.
Yes, you and I can think it means these things and we wouldn't exactly be wrong. After all, each mountain adventure, or friendship enjoyed can hold the aroma of a truly authentic way of life.
But I wonder if we've missed something, in our search for authenticity. We are quick to adopt what we perceive it to be from our online displays of living. But what if we took a bit more time to see it's full reality?
This way of life holds something to be desired, that's more than certain. But could it be that authentic living holds far more than we show through our adoption of the term?
Authenticity means to be real, true, genuine. And yet our only proof of our own authentic life often lies bottled up into some square image that was created by a pose and transformed through a series of edits. Tell me now, have we reached authenticity?
I've been caught up in it time and time again, and yet, all I seem to find in my pursuit of an "authentic life" is a pressure to achieve a perfect looking life. Tell me, is this what should be called authenticity?
You and I can be so easily caught up in a world that's been imitated and posed, manipulated in order to get the sunlight just right and, "oh, could you just pretend that you're reading that book for a moment?"
Now a pose is far from wrong, but then again, is it authentic? Perhaps not.
I'm guilty of living an "authentic life", while often missing out on my very own real life.
I'm guilty of living a life for display, making sure none of the cracks and the shattered parts are visible to others eyes.
Tell me friend, how free can you and I be when we're enchained to the opinions of our fellow man?
Tell me, how authentic can you live, when every moment of "authenticity" is scheduled out and planned?
I'd venture to guess that real authentic living rarely makes the display.
Instead it's found in those moments that are often only captured in our minds. It's found in real and open conversation, far away from any type of recording.
It's found in times when laughter can be heard and warm memories made, with no one there to witness it-no one, that is, but those who are living it.
Authentic living holds within itself, a beautiful freedom, and that's why you and I might just be longing for it. But freedom won't ever be ours if we've made the satisfying of our self our number one pursuit.
Authentic living is found when you and I step away from any sort of display, and live in our very own reality.
Your perfect pictures may be a beautiful display of art, but they often do little to display a persons true heart.
Let's you and I, live in real authenticity. And yes, we'll take the photos, and sure, let's even put this one online, but could we let ourselves be free of living picture perfect lives?
Could we let ourselves be free to show our broken pieces along with our joys?
Could we let our only display be one of God's glory weaving it all into a beautiful work of art-difficult days included, no broken pieces excluded.
If not, you and I might just be guilty of robbing our God of displaying all of His vast beauty, because He's made it clear that His glory is held best in imperfect, human hearts.
"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
You and I are but jars of clay, holding the glory of a perfect God on display.
Let's live authentic in every way, that He might be clearly seen in every bit of our fragile, clay lives.