“How do you live an authentic life without being so transparent that your story speaks louder than God’s?”
I love the fact that part of our little mission team, full of passion, joy and praise for God – asked that question on Sunday night. I love this question because it has given me something to chew on. Something to take back to God, ask about, reflect on, and dig up. It’s given me a chance to learn something new. It’s a question with depth, and meaning. It’s a question I cannot presently answer in a three point post which means that God wants to teach me something. This blog post is, in a great sense, my discovery journal. I will be sharing the points that answer this question as we find them over the next few weeks –
I’ve asked this question on twitter and facebook and have gotten some excellent replies. Some people think it’s a great question and are pondering it themselves now. Others are asking if it’s possible to allow our story to speak louder than God’s. After all, God is God and we are not.
There is truth in that – God’s story is, was, and always will be bigger than ours – as it should be. Our point in asking this question though is more about how well do we (as humans and as his servants) tell God’s story not just on stage, or behind a podium, but in our lives. We want to be authentic, we want to be transparent and we want to be wise in both.
Why is this question important to me? It is important because I haven’t always been the most authentic or transparent person in my life. I used to take privacy to unhealthy levels and hid behind a heart full of fear and hurt. I’ve shared stories over the years about the lengths I’m capable of going to in order to protect and hide my heart. I can even laugh about them today. I’ve also had times where that pendulum swings the other way where I’m overly transparent, telling people far more about my life than they really wanted to know or worse – more than they could emotionally digest. I’m thankful to God, and my friends on this journey who walk with me, and love me through those stages of life. These people help me to define my communities and appropriate boundaries, but most importantly they keep me focused on Christ.
The path to authenticity for me, starts with believing and not just hoping. I am learning that a heart that loves God first and foremost and knows his forgiveness is a step in the right direction. Taking it from my heads to my heart isn’t always easy. Those 12 inches from my brains to my hearts can seem like miles. It took God a long time to help me go from “I hope” to “I know.”
– “Lord, I believe, help me with my unbelief.” is a powerful prayer.
Living an authentic life has to start with Christ. I have to be real and authentic with Him before I can ever be that with anyone else.