Living An Authentic Christian Life
How do you go about living the authentic Christian life in such a way that you are actually living your life according to God’s word? For most of us, it takes some doing since we are also prone to the whims of society. It’s a fine line we must walk through with many challenges along the way. Our hearts and minds must be one with God’s word and our actions must spring from a humility deeply rooted in service to others.
Is this something you can do and do without complaining?
It’s something all Christians must do battle with especially in a world that does not agree with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
An authentic Christian must be able to open their hearts to the world and show unconditional love even if they themselves are going through trials and tribulations. God never said it would be easy and he tries our patience but it is meant to make us stronger in the faith and stronger in our determination to do God’s will among His people.
What then is an authentic Christian and is it possible to be one in the 21st century?
In Philippians 2:12–13 it states, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Can we obey God and still be authentic or do we give up who we are to become what God wants of us?
Many Christians find being an authentic Christian too hard and fall away from the faith but God has plans for you. In Matthew 22:14, we are told “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” You have been chosen for this and God will be there to guide you in your mission.
How Do I Live the Authentic Christian Life?
The authentic Christian life begins and ends with trust. Trusting in God’s word that He shall redeem us for our many sins and that we are loved no matter what. Trust is something in short supply as we have been burned many times before. Unlike humans, God’s word is absolute and when He says something you can be sure it will happen.
Trust also has another side to it that we must understand. We are to be trustworthy as much as we trust in God. For if we cannot be trusted, how can God use us for His ultimate glory? Trust isn’t an easy thing to commit to but we learn how to commit ourselves to Him in daily prayer. We find His faithfulness in response to our prayers.
Proverbs 3:5-6 asks us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” God directs our pathway so that we His will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
Authentic Christians are transparent in who they are. They understand that life sometimes throws a wrench in their plans but they see the bigger picture. They have learned through life’s hard knocks that even though we experience pain and suffering at times it is for our own good. Being transparent brings joy and peace to a Christian’s heart and so they act with honesty and love in all their dealings especially to one another.
In 1 John 1:7-9 we see how an authenticity lives in transparency. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This transparency comes in confession of our sins. We are afforded His forgiveness of our transgressions as walk in truth and God’s light.
Megan Hill, who writes the writes Sunday Women, a weekly blog about ministry life says this about being an authentic Christian. “Authenticity is transparency and admission of failure. It’s the rejection of pretense and hypocrisy. It’s truth-telling about all areas of life.” This fits perfectly in how Christians not only should act, but pray and think. It is not about trying to be perfect or act perfect or even show perfection but a way to be.
The Beatitudes convey this message in all it’s glory. They echo the highest ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion
- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven – We know we have nothing apart from Christ and we realize in our spiritual poverty we need God’s help in all matters. It’s all about surrendering ourselves to God.
- Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted – Our mourning leads us to God comforts who is the comforter of all. It is through Him we find repentance and forgiveness.
- Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth – To be meek is to express our inward humility, strength and spiritual balance. We walk in the peace of God through the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled – It is our hunger for the word of God that brings righteous to our circumstances. We need nourishment that only God can quench.
- Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy – Our lives are to be marked with the compassion, love and care that jesus showed during His time on earth. Only then shall mercy be carried out.
- Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God – Purity is a sign of the authentic Christian love we offer to the world but we must realize that God is the one who initiates, sanctifies and perfects our hearts.
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God – To be a children of God is to offer peace. Peace to your enemies, peace to your neighbor. It is the true essence of God’s love for you are to do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven – We are meant to live righteously according to the commandments of God and though we may suffer in this world we suffer for what is right. God suffered so it is not in the suffering or pain we feel but we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory to be revealed.
- Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account – Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What Makes An Authentic Christian?
They don’t name it the Christian life for nothing. Each day we are bombarded with sinful messages that try their best to pull us away from God. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. In all of this we must understand one true principle of being an authentic Christian; We must confesses Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. But it’s not enough to just say it.
In James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” The difference is, we are live out the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;
But it goes much deeper than this. People are watching you as a Christian. What you do has consequences.
It should be obvious that God wants us to be authentic in our Christian lives since we are charged to “no longer conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” and to “put off the old self” our old way of life and “put on the new self” our new way of life through Jesus Christ. God desires for us to live an authentic Christian life, society expects that we live an authentic Christian life and again, they are watching.
Christians value humility. We recognize that we are broken and that God must heal us. Going around thinking you can do anything may seem like you are strong but we are all broken in one way or another and the strongest thing you can do is be meek and humble unto the Lord for He will fix your brokenness and heal your sins.
Megan Hill goes on to talk about our perfect future. “For Christians, our true self is found in Christ, and we are on a pilgrimage to become more like him. As 1 John 3:2 says: “We are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet appeared.” A greater reality awaits.”
That reality is why we believe what we believe. It is knowing in our hearts that something greater than us is awaiting our pilgrimage. The world sees death as a final end but the authentic Christian works for that destination knowing God has made a way for us to reach the glory of heaven.
How to Discover Your Authentic Christian Self
First, look in the mirror. What do you see? If you don’t see the face of Christ looking back at you, you must reassess your heart. Are you truly living for God or for yourself. Remember, I said it was easy to be a Christian and that it’s a long race and many will drop out.
You can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens you but without Him you have nothing. The authentic Christian self compromise his faith for the pleasures of the world. You must look beyond that and see God in all things.
We are asked to be imitators of Christ but if our dealings don’t echo that who are we imitating? In Philippians 3:8-9, the Apostle Paul writes, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
David Schaal, Pastor of Christian Life Fellowship in Quincy, California tells us, “To be a real Christian, means that we need to PURSUE Righteousness – We need to stop justifying it as a right. We need to look at sin through the eyes of God, rather from our own sinfulness.”
This is how an authentic Christian lives, through the eyes of God and into the hearts of man. Its not a game that we play but a life we live. John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” That authentic and unconditional love is the most important virtue an authentic Christian can have. It is what motivates us and gives us direction.
If there is no authenticity in the Christian life then a Christian you are not for many who go to church resemble Christians, but lack real authenticity to live the Christian life. They have no living relationship with Jesus Christ.
Society wants us to fit in… to be part of the collective. It doesn’t like like those who are different or authentic. Living as an authentic Christian is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a mountain of faith, an ocean of trust and an unwavering belief that without God, we have no life.
You must create a life you love with God at the front and center. Mother Teresa once said this about Christian service, “There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.”
We find our authenticity in our service to others. The same service that others before us has given. Ephesians 4:22-24,tells us, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
That is how an authentic Christian lives and that is how I live. Are you ready to take your authenticity to Christ?
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