The Fear of Authenticity

When it comes to fear, I have the ability to be one of the biggest wusses you’ll ever meet. And because this blog is cheaper than therapy, I thought I’d share some.

I have common fears:
I don’t like snakes.
I don’t like spiders or scorpions.
I’m not a big fan of the dark, unless it’s somewhere I’m very familiar with.

I have paternal fears:
What if I’m not patient enough? loving enough? complimentary enough? spend enough time with my kids? What if I can’t give them every toy they want?

I have marriage fears:
I’m not good enough for her. I don’t tell her she’s beautiful enough (Which is sad, because she totally is!). I don’t compliment her enough. I’m afraid she’s going to realize what a bum-deal she got with me.

I have provider fears:
I can’t make enough money. I can’t buy a big enough house. I can’t guarantee my family financial security.

I have ministry fears:
What if they find out I’m a sham? How can I teach and preach when I still sin? Why do I still have to constantly pray for more faith? What happens when my faith gets stale?

But I think, my biggest fear is authenticity… and I would be willing to say that’s probably true of you as well. Authenticity has become a catch-word in ministry circles over the past several years, and there have been conference tracks designed around “creating an authentic church.” If you have to “create” an authentic church, can it really be authentic?

But I think my biggest fear is that someone would actually see through my facade – that they would look beyond my skin and see me for who I really am. And this is isolating, because I would be constantly frustrated by someone who only knew me on the surface level and didn’t care about me at a core-level. And yet, that is what I resist the most. Why?

Why would James instruct us to “confess your sins to one another,” unless there was healing in being completely honest with each other? How can “iron sharpen iron” if there are several layers of covering over both pieces?

We can’t grow spiritually or emotionally until we are able to find someone with whom we can be our most raw selves, and they still like us – even more – they still love us.

Who is that person for you? Thank them for their friendship. If you’re anything like me, they deserve that thanks.

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