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Authentic life

I’m trying to learn to live an authentic life in a topsy-turvy world.  But what I’m quickly finding is that people don’t want authentic.  They want the touched-up, edited version and even then they only want the peppy little ”trailer” and not the full segment.  It occurred to me recently that those Hollywood stars are making a killing doing what the rest of the world does off-screen.

Pretend.  Make-believe.  Play the part.

We’ve been carefully trained to be convincing, but not too real.  Honest, unless it’s easier to lie.  Smart, until it’s better to play dumb.  Involved, but only from a distance.

We don’t get paid millions for our acting though we work to hone our skills every single day.  I, however, am ready to retire.

There are days my little ones throw fits and I feel like throwing one with them.  Sometimes I even do.  I’m not proud of the fact, but I think you need to know it happens.

There are days when my husband’s unswerving love and devotion unnerves me.  I mean, seriously.  I just want him to scream at me or tell me exactly how it really is, but he never, ever does.  I can be the meanest, ugliest person and he’ll rub my arm and kiss my cheek and ask how he can make it all better.  His kindness convicts me of my own lack and I don’t always handle conviction well.  Again, I’m not even a little proud of this.

There are days when my teenagers seem either unable or unwilling to connect with the rest of the family and I want to scream.  I mean, what’s up with that anyway?  They’re amazing boys with hearts full of love so why do they seem so distant at times?  Guess what…they only check out after I do.  I tune them out for “more pressing” things and then expect them to respond immediately when I finally tune back in.  Nice, huh?

There are days when I oversleep on purpose and then scuttle through my tasks with a giant chip on my shoulder.  Running behind (avoidably) tends to do that to me, as does jumping into my morning without my Jesus.  It happens far too often, friends, yet every time I act all confused by what’s gone wrong.

But you know what else?  If someone calls or shows up at my door they are absolutely going to get the act.  They’ll neither see nor hear any trace of the monster that lurks within as I put forth a sweet voice and a sunshiny smile.  And it makes me sick!

I hear all the time that we are capable of nothing good without Christ.  But the scary thing is that it isn’t true at all.  I do “good” things all the time for all the wrong reasons.  I do them in my own strength and often for my own benefit.  And while a kindness extended, no matter the motive, is still a kindness the only truly authentic ones are those done with a flesh hid in Christ.

But my flesh is very fleshy and it doesn’t like to be hid.  The online me is the far lovelier version and I’m certain she is much more like the me He sees with His heart.  So I’m inviting her in to stay.  It does seem she only sticks around when I keep the door of my heart open to Christ, so I’m asking Him in first.  Today, tonight, tomorrow, next week.  It isn’t a once-in-always-in kind of invitation.  He must be made welcome with every moment, even the ones when we secretly just want a break from all that’s holy so we can let loose.

Because salvation is all about the relationship.  We cannot love Him if we do not know Him.  And we cannot know Him if we if we don’t keep letting Him in.

Are you letting Him in?