Monday, April, 25, 2016 | 10:33 AM | by Pastor Rick
Are You Real?
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21, esv).
Wouldn’t you love for someone to describe you as authentic?
- “She is authentic—completely true to herself.”
- “I think of him as authentic—the real deal.”
Authentic refers to the original article, the real thing—not a phony knock-off or cheap imitation.
Listen up! Being described as authentic is a high compliment. Those who are authentic are truly themselves, they are the real deal. They are who they say they are. We instinctively want to emulate authentic, genuine human beings—but these people are often hard to find.
Becoming an authentic person is an easy goal to set but hard to live out under scrutiny. Our standard for authenticity is Jesus Christ. He’s the real original.
He is also our ultimate model. Humanly speaking, He was in every way our perfect example. In fact, the Christian life could be described as learning to live faithfully as an authentic imitation of Jesus. The more we become like Jesus, the more we will be living an authentic life.
When Jesus called the disciples, He simply said, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). And after the Apostle Peter betrayed Jesus in a humiliating episode of personal failure, Jesus reinstated him and echoed the original call in no uncertain terms: “You follow me” (John 21:19, 22). Peter passed that same wisdom on to us: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
We can’t duplicate what Jesus did, but we can imitate Him. Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master” (Matthew 10:25). Will we ever perfectly imitate Him? No. But it’s enough for us to be like Him, and the more we become like Jesus, the more we will be living an authentic life.
Listen, being real or authentic isn’t forced. In fact, human authenticity includes room for failure. Admission of error and genuine repentance are definitely marks of authenticity.
Authentic Christians don’t drift in and out of following in Jesus steps or wander in roughly the same direction as His steps—no, we are to follow in his footprints.
Jesus taught and practiced certain spiritual disciplines, which is how we know they’re worth repeating. When we practice them as He did, we are setting our feet in His very footprints.
- Would you describe yourself as an authentic person? Would others? Why or why not?
- Compare who you were a year ago to who you are today. How are you growing in your likeness to Christ?
- Are you more loving, patient, kind, faithful, gentle, joyful, controlled than one year ago?
The more we become like Jesus, the more we will be living an authentic life.
Grace and Peace to all of you this week,