Last week we met in the park to discuss our 3rd core value of “Authenticity”. There are a few things I want to highlight from our time together.
1. It’s ok to not be ok. Unfortunately, church is often the last place people go looking for authenticity. For whatever reason(s), many of us at church put on masks and project the person that we wish we were. We minimize the things we struggle with and we maximize the thing we wish more true of us. This of course leaves people with a false sense of reality. What we see is not what we get when and if we ever get to the place of being honest about who we are. At Awaken, we want to create a place where it’s “ok to not be ok.” We want to challenge one another to get to places of authenticity in relationships where we can be honest about our brokenness and that doesn’t disqualify us from community. Of course none of us want to stay there in those places of brokenness and we are thankful for the transforming nature of the Gospel, but we must first start with being honest about who we really are.
2. Our insides match our outsides. This is a continuation of the first point, but we want to be people whose outsides (the person we project) is congruent with who we are on the inside. It’s more about seeking an accurate reflection of ourselves than anything else. If we’re filled with joy, then that’s what people see. If we’re having a rough day, then let’s not hide it to protect our fragile egos. Let’s give one another the benefit of transparency.
3. Honest with God, honest with ourselves, and honest with others. In order for us to live as authentic people we first must be honest with God about the condition of our heart. Deeply connected to this reality is the ability to be honest with ourselves about ourselves. When we are honest with ourselves, we don’t put unfair expectations on ourselves or set the bar so high we are always let down. As we walk the road of the first two, we are able to live authentically (and appropriately I might add) with other people in relationship.
God, I pray that Awaken becomes a place of authenticity. A place where we are honest with each other in relationship. A place where it’s ok to not be ok. A place where we tell the truth about life, humanity, the world we live in, and one another in hopes that you are the God who is changing us to look more like Jesus.