Oh Authenticity. One of those buzz words. The thing that tons of people talk about publicly, but few people achieve. It’s such a grossly overused word that it has almost lost its meaning. But alas, since I cannot come up with a better word, here goes.
What is authenticity?
I think perhaps my favorite definition of authenticity is one that relates to gemstones. Basically, you can tell an authentic stone from a fake (usually) because the authentic stone will ultimately have a flaw of some kind. They are both stones. You can touch them, lick them, stick them in your pocket. But the authentic one will have some kind of flaw, or “character” as my Mama calls it.
You show up. You do the work. Heck, you even see some decent results. You are, most definitely, an obedient Christian. But deep down, if you’re honest, you don’t really enjoy it. There is no fire. Sure, there are some nice people and Jesus was obviously kind and generous and you are thankful for His sacrifice. But you know that your eyes never light up when you talk about Him like they do when you talk about your new Harley.
But you are committed. Isn’t it results that matter anyway? Does passion actually matter? Plenty of people get by, make a living, and have good lives without necessarily being passionate, right? It’s not the dreams that matter, it’s what we actually DO that counts, right?
Then you see some people who seem to just come alive when they talk about Jesus. They are on FIRE! And you feel like you know them well enough to suspect that it is MORE than just a manufactured façade for social media. There is just something about their faith. They seem so DEEPLY passionate about the Lord.
Is it just something a few people are lucky enough to have? Does this passion actually make a difference? Is there some way you can get this passionate without moving to Africa?
I had just left a room filled with people. Lots of whom I knew and enjoyed. We had danced, laughed, ate, and celebrated. But as I walked out this overwhelming feeling came of “I didn’t fit in there. Nobody really got me.” Nobody was rude. Nobody had been mean. They were all nice people, but I really just did not feel like I fit in.
A while back I did a very unofficial poll of some of my friends, and I asked them if they often felt like they didn’t fit in.
You wanna know what? MOST of them said that they did not feel like they fit in. A few said that sometimes they did but it was only with select groups.
And here is the funny thing, most of the friends I asked are people who I think are quite socially proficient and popular. They have lots of friends, are easy to talk to, and have a high level of competence in their field. They aren’t loners or painfully shy individuals.