Tuesday, November 13, 2007


...this is a big word within spiritual circles, particularly within the last 15 years.

what i love about this word is the accompanying recognition that we're all flawed
all broken
all imperfect
all on a spiritual journey of discovery, healing, and progressive wholeness

but i hate that the word has often been diminished into a license to do/say whatever we want

instead of being a word that ascribes values to transparency and honesty
it's become a word that allows people to be thoughtless and unkind
selfish and ignorant
all in the name of being 'true to themselves'

the word 'authenticity' actually has the same root ['aut'] as the word 'autumn'

autumn means to bring to harvest the earth’s increase: the ripening of crops, the ripening of identity.

the “autumn” of life should mark the coming to maturity of sun-ripened character and being.

“authentic” literally means “by one’s hand:” something not copied, but created as an original

in fact, every relic is supposed to carry with it what are known as “authentics:” little handwritten slips of parchment that identify the origin of and establish as genuine these holy relics.

we're being authentic, truly, when we offer our energies to one another
for mutual enjoyment and benefit
aware of their limitations
but not parading their flaws as a badge of honor

we're being authentic when we share our hurts openly with one another
it's the fragility here that makes it 'real'
not the accompanying bitterness we often enjoy spewing

we're being authentic when we critique the varied manifestations of christianity
in love, with the intent to be greater formed into the image of god
and recognize that we're also - somehow - critiquing our own flaws
not when we ruthlessly scrutinize churches to point out how irrelevant, hypocritical, out-of-date, unexcellent, and inconsistent they can be

authenticity is about the subtle and frail truths of who we are struggling to become
and what often prohibits us from becoming

it is a value that honors the development of each person
and draws attention to the struggle and formation of each soul

but it does not glorify the struggle beyond the desire
nor elevate the heartache above the spirit

whenever we romanticize the negative things of ourselves and our world
we only further alienate the beauty that god is trying to grow within us

you can only be in love with one thing
and you can only serve one thing

will it be Him?
or the counterfeit safety of struggling to find Him?

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