Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

This morning as I was watching the news the reporter was talking politics…he was discussing different candidates – one in particular that speaks very bluntly and authentically. My ears pick up at that word: “authentically”. The reporter said people in this country were looking for someone who was authentic.

Do you agree with that? Is authenticity important? Can you live authentically in today’s world?

I think we all are looking for people who are genuine, honest, unpretentious…but where do we find them? With our world of hype and spin and downright lying – even from our leaders, maybe I should say especially from our leaders – authentic people are hard to find.

Sadly, even in church we find people who wear masks – projecting authenticity but behind the mask is a life that is hidden because of shame, guilt, fear…

How do I know? I have been there. I know what it is like to walk into church with my Sunday mask on hiding a broken life. One particular Sunday, I walked in and sat in the pew. A friend was sitting behind me and leaned over to ask how I was. I smiled and said, “I’m fine.” The service started and I thought, “You know I just lied to her. I am not fine.” As we left the sanctuary I confessed to her that I had lied and was going through a difficult time.

It is a small thing that speaks to a much bigger issue. Being real. Real with ourselves, with others and with God. It isn’t easy. We fear rejection.

I want, in this blog space, to explore authenticity and transparency. What does it mean? How do we live it out practically? Are there repercussions – what are they? Conversely, what are the repercussions if we are not honest?

I want us to think about it and dialogue about this issue. If a news reporter is saying that people are looking for authenticity in people running for office, then it needs our attention. People are hungry for someone who does not have a hidden agenda and will speak the truth; someone who will be honest but kind and gracious. Is that possible?

Perhaps you know someone that is authentic. Tell me about them. What are their characteristics? Describe them. How have they lived their life? If you believe you are authentic, how have you done it? What is life like for you? Are there pitfalls to avoid?

I want to learn from you.

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