Are You Willing To Be Authentic?

“Authenticity occurs when real people say real things about real issues with real feelings. When you’re authentic you live what you are.” ~ Charles Swindoll

When the young lady that I mentor, and love, started dating recently, she asked me for some counsel. Having never dated before, she wanted wisdom on how to handle this new relationship. My advice to her was simple: Just be yourself.”
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Being yourself, rather than being what you think other people want you to be, isn’t as easy as it sounds. Allowing others to see the real you is uncomfortable and challenging. The fear of rejection can override your desire to be authentic. You may subconsciously think, “what if others won’t love or accept me?”

Many struggle with being their authentic selves.

Because the fear of allowing others to see who you actually are can be overwhelming, you consequently present a perfect version of you. In other words, a fake you. Fears, past hurts, and unresolved issues are some of the reasons your true identity becomes camouflaged. Many disguise who they are, and yet struggle with a deep sadness because they don’t understand why they have little to no intimacy in their personal relationships.

The truth is, people are starving for genuine connections. It starts with you. Will you dare to be vulnerable enough to be your authentic self? Here are 4 reasons to encourage you as you take the risk in being honest and real.

1. Being authentic is the key to healthy intimacy in relationships.

Taking off your mask and showing others who you really are reveals depth of your character. This is because being authentic is the substance of who you are. Life, after all, is full of mysteries. Even God is a mystery (Isaiah 55:8-9), as is Christ’s return. And although you are not a mystery to God, you are to those that don’t know you.

The paradox of our existence is that we have a strong desire to be known and seen for who we really are, and yet, we are hesitant, even anxious, about revealing our true self.

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Refusing to be superficial is an individual choice. Allowing yourself to be susceptible with others and sharing your feelings, thoughts, and fears is a risk only you can decide to take. You want to be known and seen by others, but are you doing your part and revealing your authentic self?

It takes courage and strength to take off your mask and be unashamedly yourself.

The truth is, however, that when you are honest and genuine with others, you are building a strong foundation for lasting intimacy within your relationships. You offer a gift to others because by being authentic you are allowing others to celebrate the beauty of your uniqueness.

2. Being authentic frees you to become a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser.

It’s sad how often we look to people’s approval to define us. Having a man-pleasing spirit is is a form of idolatry because as a Christian, you ought to be living for God’s acceptance only (Galatians 1:10).

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The truth is, when you can love and accept yourself for who you are, you honor your creator, who made you the way you are- flawed, but perfect in His image. He knit you in your mother’s womb with love, thoughtfulness and detail (Psalm 139:13-15).  Nothing about you is a mistake. God had a perfect plan for you when He created you.

A gift of being authentic will be your freedom from the bondage of a man-pleasing spirit. There is a lot of joy in living fully satisfied in Jesus (Psalm 16:11).

3. Being authentic creates space for others to be authentic too.

When you are your genuine self with others, they will sense it. Your willingness to be real, sharing your struggles and flaws, paves the way for others to do the same. Authenticity is contagious. You give permission to others to be themselves when you model it yourself.

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Being authentic is attractive, and we are drawn to people who walk in such confidence.

When you are honest and real with those around you, you give them the gift of being free to be their authentic self as well.

4. Your authenticity today will affect future generations.

Learning who you are in Christ is critical because your true self is found in Him (click here to read my blog post on “Knowing Who I am in Christ). Nurture your relationship with Jesus by spending time with Him daily (click here to learn how). This will help you to grasp how deeply you are loved and accepted, and therefore, boost your desire to be authentic with the world around you.

Honestly, one of the best gifts you can give the world is to leave a legacy of authenticity. I encourage you, no, dare you, to have the confidence to just be yourself.

Are you in? Are you willing to be authentic?

…throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” ~ Ephesians 4:22-24

Comments

  1. Very good reminder. If we are afraid to be ourselves with someone, we may need to examine why rather than present ourselves as someone we think that person might prefer.

    Thanks!

    • tweenyrandall says:

      I think to a certain degree and at different times, we all struggle with a man pleasing spirit. Thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂

  2. You wrote “learning who you are in Christ is critical because your true self is found in Him”. This is the journey I am on. Discovering who I am in Christ will lead me to my authentic self. Thank you for your writings – they always lead me to dig deeper in my faith with Jesus.

    • tweenyrandall says:

      Lolly, you did it again-quoted me. I love that you do that!!! How’s your journey with Christ going? I’m praying you are staying strong in Him. Following Him is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard to walk in His ways, but it is oh so rewarding. Keep persevering dear one. I love you!

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