Being an inauthentic Christian is incredibly and deceptively easy (this can be blamed on the church’s inclusive nature and requirements of outward appearances, amongst many other reasons).
I simply have to say the right things and go through the correct motions when other Christians are looking.
Sunday morning can easily become a performance to show my religious convictions instead of a time to fellowship and nurture one another.
All other church activities become a way to improve upon this perception.
Why Do We Hide?
I think most of us put this mask on because we’re ashamed of our lack of inward change. It’s embarrassing how little our inward reality has really changed. It’s easy to dress up, put on a smile, and say that God is good. It’s hard to share our struggles with those around us that we consider to be authentic Christians.
What’s worse is that the more that we hide behind the mask, the stronger it sticks to our face. Soon we can’t take it off because nobody would recognize the true face underneath. We hide so much doubt, pain, shame, and sinful thoughts/actions that we couldn’t possibly admit it out loud.
What would they think of us?
The Cure for Inauthenticity
Take off the mask. Be real. Be vulnerable.
The question is: Do you want live as the new creation God called you to be or not?
If so, you can’t live behind a mask. Newsflash: God can see behind it! You might be fooling everybody at church, in your small group, and even in your family, but you aren’t pulling one over on God.
The cure for inauthenticity is to choose authenticity…but you have to truly want it. You have to decide that those things that are keeping you from living like Jesus must die and be buried.
6 Signs of Authentic Christianity
1. In Love with God, Not the Things of This World
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17
2. Transformed by God, Not Conformed to This World
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3. Strong and Weak
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so thatthe power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
4. Connected to the Body of Christ
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is,God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
5. Stand Out in a Crowd
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you
1 Peter 5:6
So Much More
There are so many more things that could be listed here for authentic Christianity. What are some of your thoughts and favorite verses? I’d love to read your comments! Simply add them below.
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Also published on Medium.