I’ve been craving something lately that I think a lot of people have been craving too. Authenticity. Now I’m not talking like doesn’t have fake boobs or something. I’m talking hardcore truth coming from people and the way they act. This may sound stupid or it may ring true to you, either way we don’t see it too often. Now I don’t
mean to act like I’m not at fault here because I’m one of the worst of them all. I want people to think I’m cool just like any other person. And we act certain ways to make us seem like we have it all together. That’s probably the last thing I have…it together. But I will tell you this I want to get rid of the BS that is filling my life. I mean this in every way. Spiritually, physically, relationally. How many people do you know that will tell you the truth in love? How many people do you ask how they’re doing and they say good, like you don’t know that they’re bad? This is an epidemic and it is destroying our relationships.
My husband and I were at an estate sale the other day. As we were walking out of the house and to our car, a man who was walking next to us started to talk to us. He said hi and introduced himself. We made small talk for a minute or so and we arrived at our car. The man was kind of strange and it was one of those encounters where it could get really awkward if he was just a little less weird but he was totally out there and super outgoing so it was okay. As we were getting in our car we told him to have a good day and he said this:
“Like my dad always used to say…If the handshake ain’t real, don’t shake the hand.”
What the heck.
It came out of nowhere and I had no idea what it meant. I immediately started to wonder. And then it kind of made sense to me in a way that was actually really familiar. If we’re comparing handshakes to people than there is a lot of wisdom in what random estate sale guy said. If the person isn’t real than why be with that person? I know that sounds really cold but hear me out here. We fill our lives with lots of people and some of those people we choose to become close to. What I think has happened is our definition of “close” is not right and the people we think are “close” to us actually don’t know us at all. Because of this, the intimacy of our relationships are basically crap. We were made to be authentic. We were made to tell the truth and own our mess and express our love. So how do we this?
I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing for a while now and I’ve been trying to be more authentic in my conversations. I get really excited to talk to people and sometimes it just comes out so awkward…I end up asking people “How’s your heart?” and “What are your dreams or aspirations?” These questions are asked with full intention of wanting to know more intimate details about a person rather than where they got the dress they’re wearing. Although because of the lack of warning for these questions and how soon they come out of my mouth after meeting a person, I seem to spit them out randomly and scare people. (Oh my gosh Caden, that’s so awkward! I know). But I think that’s a start.
My craving for intimate relationships and REAL conversation cannot just happen over night. And I think the best way to practice this is to live it out myself. I want to be the person that tells it how it is (in love, of course). I want to be the person that slips up the word Sh*t because I got excited and the people around me can forgive me rather than judge. I want to be the person that someone can sit down with and feel like they can be completely transparent, like they don’t have to put on a show. Don’t you want that?
We’ve heard it a thousand times, “Real christians are not perfect!” How are we living that out? A lot of Christians will claim that they are not perfect, but will a lot of Christians claim to be authentic? We can stand up and tell the world that “we make mistakes too!” Yeah, they know. The world can see that eventually you will make a mistake and the world will probably call you out on that. But can the world see your authenticity? Can people sit down and have a conversation with you about deeper issues that how the weather is outside? Do people know your story? Are you going to tell that person that you had a crappy day and you need some prayer? Tell your friend it hurts your feelings when she doesn’t open up to you. Ask someone a hard question, even if it’s awkward. BE REAL! We’re living in a time where it’s okay to be anything you want and people are becoming who they “really are” all the time. We, as Christians, like to complain about all this change. Well I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t think complaining is going to do us any good. I’d like to be who I really am. So maybe this is a challenge to you to be more authentic, maybe it’s a challenge for you to find more authentic relationships, or maybe this was just a way to practice my own authenticity…either way I leave you with a few things I need to get off my chest in hoping you will also share authenticity with someone else.
I was scared to put a cuss word in this entry because I’m scared my grandparents will read it and be upset with me.
I want to write a book.
Sometimes I think in 3rd person.
I want more intimate relationships with my friends but I’m scared to tell them.
I’m scared to admit I like beef jerky because I think it’s a boy thing.
I stay up at hours on end in the night worrying about my family.
I dream to travel the world and tell people about Jesus.
Sometimes I get mad at God.
I want my brothers to express their love to me more.
I have to get two root canals and four fillings because I haven’t been to the dentist in 6 years.
There are just a few things. You are more than welcome to call me, come by my apartment, or see me on the street and challenge me to be more authentic. I will do the same for you.