Authenticity pleases Christ

It’s been a long time since I’ve really just had time to sit and be with the Lord, to long in fact. Ever since I got here to Toulouse I’ve felt like I’ve needed to be someone and it’s taken the greater part of 4 months until I realized it. The team I am part of is so unlike me, they thrive off of being with other people, where it wears me down and out. I felt like I needed to be someone who Christ didn’t create me to be, I felt like I needed to be more like them.

I wish this was a less frequent tale within the Christian world but the truth is that it is one of the most common tactics used against us as Believers. No, it isn’t comparison or judgment, worse, it’s a lack of authenticity. For months I believed that to be a missionary meant that I had to become extroverted, to be someone other than I was. I did it, I went along and things went well. There wasn’t a lot of tension within the team here, and we were starting to see the Lord provide. Yet there had to be something more, in my heart I felt like there was something that was holding me back. Then it happened, the Lord pushed me over my limits.

Since I had chosen to not be who I was, the Lord forced it out of me. Over the course of several weeks I had next to no time alone. It was too much, and I withdrew from a get together and filled my team with concern. They thought they knew who I was, but they only knew who I thought they needed me to be.

Broader picture now. In our relationship with Christ we are drawing closer to him and He is sanctifying us. A large part of the process of sanctification involves the Lord revealing different parts of our lives to us. There isn’t some magical ideal we are all conformed into (as though God wasn’t creative enough to make more the one mold), but rather our characteristics are revealed as we see more of Christ. Through this whole process God isn’t telling us “You shouldn’t be ______” (unless of course the blank is filled with sin), rather that we need to focus that part of us to the throne of the King. If I get along better in times of solitude, I need to have those moments focused on Jesus.

Until we are able to be true with ourselves and focus the areas of our lives onto Christ, we are not going to be encouraging others to be who God created them to be. More then likely we will push them to feel as though they need to fit into some mold. Until we are shown who we are, we can’t share our-self with others. Once one person is real, it will free the rest to be the same way. When a body of believers embraces where they are, who they are, and the unique design God used to create them in those around them will never be the same. The effect of people living in the reality of their lives, embracing and savoring God’s grace every moment will do nothing but change eternity for those that know them.

This is my prayer,
~paul