Friday, March 4, 2011

Keeping It Real

Ok...let me admit it right here and now! I have a problem....a HUGE problem....with keeping it real.

Abraham Lincoln is attributed with having said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. And yet, we try, don't we? Maybe not intentionally, but speaking for myself, I have to admit, over the course of my life thus far, there has been a lot of fooling going on. Don't get me wrong. I don't intentionally try to fool anyone...(or on second thought, do I?) I don't view myself as a dishonest person. It's just when it comes right down to it, I have to admit... I am not living an authentic life.

And who knows this better than God. For unlike people, we can't fool God.....any of the time! He sees our heart. He sees the real us.

According to Dictionary.com, the word authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object is what it is claimed to be. I claim to be a Christian, but am I really what I claim to be? This is a sobering question, isn't it? And I have to admit, this is a question I am very uncomfortable asking myself.

3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 12:3, 9-16 (NLT)


Paul is urging us to wake up and see our self for who we really are. He is forcing us to take off our spiritual blinders and look beyond what we are doing (our actions) to the reason behind it (our motives). He is provoking us to step up to the call on our life and to live like Christ.

And yet, my life, the who of who I am, is so unlike Christ. For years, literally most of my life, I have tried to live like Christ. But, try as I might, and hope as I may, I was never able to do it.

Until recently, that is.

Do you want to know my secret? Do you want to know how I was finally able to live up to living like Christ?

Well, here it is in a nutshell-

I gave up.

I quit trying.

I died to the notion of me ever being able to do it.

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20


I stopped trying to be Christ and instead invited Christ to start being me.

It is by "adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in" God that I can be Christ to the world. It has nothing to do with me, and EVERYTHING to do with Christ living in me and through me.

When I can't, Christ can. When I die to self-reliance and start living in reliance on Christ, Christ shines through. When I stop being fake, and allow Christ to be real, the world will see an authentic Christian. The world will see Christ.

But, I might add...this is a day to day surrender. Each moment of each day, I have to choose to get me out of the way so Christ can reign supreme.

I have to remind myself that it is not my might, or my power, but by His spirit.(Zechariah 4:6)

I have to remember that without Christ I can do nothing (John 15:5), but with Christ I can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

I have to bring to mind the glorious work Christ has begun in me and His faithfulness to complete it (Philippians 1:6).

And, when I become disconnected from my Heavenly Father, I have to run to His side and once again abide in the vine, so He can bear fruit in my life (John 15:4).

To call yourself a child of God is one thing. To be called a child of God by those who watch your life is another thing altogether.~ Max Lucado


Yes, it's time to get authentic in our Christian walk. It's time to move out of the way and to let Christ have His way. It's time to stop pretending and to start abiding. It's time to say not me, but you, Christ.

It's time to get real!

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