Authenticity never goes out of style.

3 03 2010

Romans 7:25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (NLT)

To be completely transparent, my day yesterday was a rough day.   It could have been the fact that I didn’t read my Bible and make time for God (let’s be honest, in all reality it really was).  It also could have been that I didn’t have my coffee.  But either way, I was having a rough day yesterday.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out! 

When confronted with the question of “how is your day going” I had two options: Be honest and let those I lead know I was having a hard time finding joy in my day.  Or lie, and loose the opportunity to be honest about the Christian struggle.  Paul all through Romans 7 shares with us the fact that he struggles with sin!  Now he doesn’t get too detailed in what issue(s) he is struggling with,but at least the Romans knew that he wasn’t perfect and that he had his own personal struggles.  In fact I’m sure the NT churches didn’t have the same view of “Super Paul” that we do today. 

My point is that AUTHENTICITY never goes out of style and that we as leaders would better serve our people by being transparent with our realities.  I’m not saying that we should just spill our guts to anybody who will listen.  However, ask yourself this question: when I was growing up, would it have been beneficial for me to know that my pastor had struggles just like I had/have struggles?  Then ask yourself: knowing that he wasn’t perfect, yet constantly found grace and strength in God and His word, would it have saved me a lot of un-due guilt and frustration?

When we act like we have it all together, those who follow us only look to emulate us, not Christ.  They will follow Christ, not because they want to be like Him, rather because they desire to have it “all together” like us.  We are still running the race, it would be good for them to see us sweating it out on the track every now and then.

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7 responses

3 03 2010
Elizabeth Laryn

Authenticity is so important, starting with the pastor and including everyone in the church community. It is so easy to not be authentic . . . at least for a while, but eventually, the weight of carrying around the burdens of our hearts become greater than the fear of vulnerability. Thanks for your thoughts.

3 03 2010
Mason Stanley

Elizabeth, I totally agree! I feel for those who never make it to the point of allowing themselves to be vulnerable.

3 03 2010
Jordan Hanger

Good stuff Mason. Sometimes its so hard to be authentic especially as a pastor because you don’t want to be viewed as weak. On the other hand in our weakness God can be glorified.

3 03 2010
Mason Stanley

Such a good thought: “On the other hand in our weakness God can be glorified.” You complete me, or at least my blog post!

5 03 2010
John Cordero

I so struggle with being authentic because of my pride. When people ask how I am doing I always give them my default answer of being “good”. That was helpful.

5 03 2010
Mason Stanley

I think there is a good number of us who struggle John. It is when we allow Christ to remove the pride in our lives that we allow Him to be glorified in our weakness. In our pride we seek to be glorified, in our weakness Christ is glorified. Thanks for your transparency

10 03 2010
tastethesmell

Aww…now there’s the magic question: how’s you’re day going? how are you – or other variations…

Fact is that most people who ask the question do not really want to know how your day is going. A friend once told me, “It is a Southern thing – in the north we ask that question and wait for a response. You don’t do that here.”

So, realizing this trait that was bred into me, I now chose one of 2 strategies – depending on how MY day is going?

I either ask and listen to the answer – whatever it may be.
-OR –
I say something else – like ‘It’s good to see you.”

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