One Little Word for 2009: Authentic

Last year, Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles inspired me with her "One Little Word" post. My word for 2008 was "Haven". In some ways, I made progress on my "Haven-related" goals; in others, I failed miserably. I'm going to continue to work on those goals in 2009.

2009's "One Little Word" was easy. I've been thinking about it for weeks. Actually, months ago I had several conversations in a row with various friends about the importance of "authenticity". The conversations started out about the importance of authenticity in raising our children, but God began to quickly convict me of its importance for *myself* in my relationship with Him.

So...my "One Little Word" for 2009 is


I want to be authentic in my relationship with God. To be authentic in my relationships with my husband and children. To be authentic in my parenting. To be authentic in my friendships. I want to lead my children to be authentic. I want them to have authentic relationships with God. I want them to make right decisions and do the right thing because they are walking with the Lord and want to please Him...not because of what "people" will see or think. I want to make progress in making our home an "authentic haven" both as a refuge for our family, and as an opportunity to practice hospitality to others.

It is so easy to fall into the habit of living in "what will people think?" mode. It is so easy to train our children so that others will be impressed with their obedience, or so that they won't embarrass us in public. We have seen "up close and personal" the dangers of allowing oneself to live behind a mask...looking good to others, and yet allowing evil a stronger and stronger foothold on the inside until it finally explodes into a firestorm that singes everyone in its vicinity. And yet, even with that object lesson indelibly imprinted on my heart...I struggle with being authentic myself. It's uncomfortable. It's hard. It's painful. It requires me to give up control of myself *completely* to the Holy Spirit...because I cannot truly live authentically in the flesh. And I don't give up control easily.

This post actually started out to simply be a list of links to blog posts I'd come across recently that I found worth sharing. As I compiled the list, I realized that almost all of the links I had planned to post related to the topic of authenticity. So although I hadn't planned to post my "One Little Word" post quite yet...here it is. :)

I Don't Want to Be a Witch Next Year: I'm not even sure how I happened upon this post, but Wow! was it convicting. How often do I tell my children that partial obedience is not obedience at all? How many sermons have I preached them on "To obey is better than sacrifice"? And yet how often do I try to "manipulate people or circumstances to get my way"...which the author convincingly points out is like practicing witchcraft??

I'm not sure how I arrived at the Ordinary Mother blog, either, but I'm so glad I did! I found some excellent food for thought on authenticity there:

Not Being But Becoming: What a great and thought-provoking quote from Martin Luther.

Being Not Seeming: I realized as I read this post how God has used the difficult circumstances of the past few years to "expose where I am lacking" and to give me a heart-desire for authenticity in my life. Excellent post on being *genuinely* about His glory...not just seeming like we are.

A Convicting Little Rhyme: I'm thinking that the original rhyme as well as Ordinary Mother's rewrite would be excellent candidates for our *next* Mega Memory project.

Humbling Holidays: Authenticity and humility go hand in hand. I have more thoughts on this post; hopefully before the end of January I'll get my "Christmas Reflections" posted. :)

"Authentic" is defined as "not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique."

While that is the definition I had in mind when I selected it as my "One Little Word" for 2009, I was interested to find this definition as well:

"having the origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified: an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master. "

We are an "authentic work" of The Master; the Holy Spirit verifies (seals) us. The question I need to ask myself daily is "Is there 'unquestionable evidence' in my life of my origin?" Unfortunately, most days, I wouldn't like the answer to that question.

"These have come so that your faith
—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ is revealed."
1 Peter 1:7 (New International Version)
"The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again."
1 Peter 1:7 (God's Word Translation)
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."
Romans 12:9 (New American Standard Bible)

1 comment:

Laurie said...

It's probably not a surprise that your post really resonated with me - given my own life journey towards authenticity. Thank you for linking to me. But thank you more for writing such a post that challenges and encourages me as I become more authentic as a wife, mother, Christian.