BONUS BLOG: A Call to Authenticity
By: Sharon Jacobs
What has come to my attention is that the brokenness of this world lies in the harsh reality that many people simply do not know who they are. They do not know their identity, their dignity, and their worth. The shortness and fragility of this life seems to be a reminder that this is a life we are meant to skate through; a life with no depth and no meaning. This is far from the truth.
Each and every person on this planet was made to thrive, to love, to be loved, and to glorify God with every breath. As we search the hearts of those around us at school, work, and even in our faith communities, we see a common trend of covering up the most authentic version of ourselves: all the way from how we look and how we dress to how we act. All of us can name a time where we conformed to those around us. What is so sad about this is that how we conform can turn into us breaking the Perfect Lover’s heart, as one night turns into two. And two nights into three. And four. Then seven. And then it is a lifestyle. A way of life. How heartbreaking is that? How heartbreaking is it that we ignore the call for authenticity out of fear of being rejected, of feeling unloved, of no longer being included?
This is a reminder that the devil comes to steal your joy, and that he CAN be defeated. He does not want you to be happy. He does not want you to find your worth in God. Rather, he wants you to place your identity and self-worth in others. He wants you to conform. He will try to convince you to compromise your standards in hard situations. Do not worry. Your foundation lies on Jesus Christ, and in Him is found strength to defeat every single battle. Jesus is rooting for you, and His call to authenticity and way of life is something worth standing up for. In fact, it is something worth dying for. The reward is irreplaceable and incomprehensible.
I was inspired to write this when I started realizing all the lies the devil was telling me. I know that the enemy knows that I struggle to pray. Every evening and morning, when it is time for me to pray, he reminds me of the people I failed to love. He reminds me of the broken friendships and relationships in my life, and tells me that not even God is able to mend them. He reminds me that these people were my “home”, and where my identity lies. “Look how you hurt her, she doesn’t turn to God because of you,” “Look at the mess you made,” “This is hopeless,”: all disgusting lies he loves to whisper. Recognizing where he tries to mess you up is what can help you to realize where you need to call upon the Lord most; where you need to beg for his mercy.
Every soul was made for greatness. Each of us are called to be ourselves, to place our identity in Him, and thrive in His goodness. From here on out, always keep in mind that the Maker of the Universe is calling your name, cheering you on through life, and is recklessly imploring you to live a life full of joy, love, and authenticity.