The people of your generation have come up with a term that embodies what this letter is all about — “keeping it 100,” which is synonymous with what we used to call “keeping it real.” A “real” person, a person who is “keeping it 100” is someone who is authentic. The words means: “not false or copied; genuine; real; representing one’s true nature or beliefs.” Authenticity has a lot to do with honesty, which we talked about in a previous letter. But, while honesty has to do with being truthful with your tongue, authenticity has to do with being truthful with your life.
The world is full of people who are trying to be like someone else. They curb and contort their lives, their personalities, and their passions in order to fit a mold that they have determined to fit. This lack of authenticity runs through big decisions like career choices and educational pursuits, to seemingly little things like the way we dress or the cars we drive. This lack of authenticity also causes us to hide our flaws and shortcomings, and other parts of our lives that we think others may not approve of or accept. But this kind of living is living a lie.
Authenticity is all about living truthfully — whether those truths be bad or good. If it is a bad truth about your life (a sin), then you must confess and repent of it, and strive to do right. But don’t lie about it. When we are inauthentic, we are walking in darkness, and that is not pleasing to God. First John 1:6-7 tells us, “If we walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Jesus commands us to be authentic in our behavior when he said in Matthew 5:37, “Let your communication [your lifestyle, the way you live] be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” An authentic person is one who is not performing for the sake of others, but is living fully in the life that God has given him. Being authentic lifts a tremendous burden off your heart and mind. If you have confessed your sins and are striving to do right, you can live freely, knowing that the only Person you have to please is God. He gave you the personality, the looks, and the abilities that you have, and you ought never to feel like you have to be like someone else.
Daniel Whyte III
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
C.S. Lewis said, “There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Christ will indeed give you a real personality. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.”
Brené Brown said, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
Charles Swindoll said, “I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.”
Albert Camus said, “Above all, in order to be, never try to seem.”