Monday, September 1, 2014

Living. For Real.

What does it mean to live?  Like for real? 

I thought the picture above beautifully captures authentic living.

Soldiers of war...experiencing the worst atrocities with courage and strength.

Fighting bravely through war.

Battling courageously to tell their stories.

To me, that is living real life.

Owning who they fully are.

Battle scars and all.

Authenticity seems to be a buzz word these days.  Honestly, it can be misused to harm others.  Speaking everything without time in prayer and self-control is often not wise.  I know I've been guilty of spouting hurtful words under the guise of authenticity.

Speaking the truth in love is a whole other topic-- it is done after prayer, time in the word, and wise counsel.  This type of authenticity is sometimes necessary to love well and call others to more.  For the sake of this blog post, I'm speaking more about our own personal authentic living.  Personally looking within.

I know I have lived a life of masks and shame-- caught up in sins against me.  Pretending I'm not hurt.  Pretending I'm fine.  

I can also easily wrap myself up in my own wrongs and offenses against others.  Weighted down in shame.  Afraid of rejection.  Fearful to ask for forgiveness. 

We are all fallen.  All broken.  All desperately need rescue.  Relationships are messy.  Living authentically is hard. 

So, what does it really mean to live authentically?

Living an authentic life is resting in the truth of who we are as fallen creatures.  Embracing our stories fully-- scars and all.  Admitting our failures-- looking for the plank in our own eye.  

Megan Hill puts together five things she sees as necessary for authentic living:

1) Authenticity proclaims the reality of the Bible
2) Authenticity doesn't excuse sin (pride is not authentic living...look to the plank in our own eye first)
3)  Authenticity seeks the good of the Body - looking to the good of others first, not ourselves
4) Authenticity honors wisdom - God's wisdom, not our own
5) Authenticity points ahead to a perfected future - recognizing the fallenness of this world-- it is not our home.
Living authentically also includes asking the Father what dream He has for us to follow.  What path He's asking us to walk.  It's often through heartache that we find our calling.

when we bury our stories
dig holes deep into soil
we toss away the glory
of what He wants to be told

the messy and rotten
become beautiful golden threads
woven by the One 
written by His hand

if secret places are hidden
we are never known
daylight into darkness
never fully shown

facade proudly worn
truth never seen
masked and alone
down to the grave we go

embrace it all, don't let it go
each of us given a dream
live each moment fully alive
cherish even the hard

for in the furnace He shapes
and molds, beauty through fire
glorious picture He alone creates
a plan that's not ours 

{photo credit:

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