Read: James 5:12-20
Authentic : not false or copied; genuine; real
If I had to sum up the rest of James 5 in one word it would be authentic. Verse 12, let your yes be yes and your no be no. Stop being two faced and saying one thing and doing another. Or wishy- washy with your yes’s and no’s. Make a decision and stick to it. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Authentic.
Verses 13-18. Having trouble? Pray about. Don’t hide your struggles, your sickness, your sin. Share it with others. Confess it. Allow people to pray for and encourage you. This is the way we are healed. Let your stuff out in the open receive encouragement and accountability. Share your heart with God. Admit your struggle and your need for Him. Authentic.
Verses 19-20. When someone wanders, admit it happened and bring them back. Don’t give up. Don’t ignore it. Don’t hope they will change on their own or that it will go away. Don’t justify their sin and make excuses for them. Authentic.
I believe authenticity is something we all crave but are scared to practice. True authenticity means vulnerability. It also means maturity. And if you are mature enough to be authentic and vulnerable but someone else isn’t ready to take off their mask they may lash out in any number of belittling, demeaning, full of pity ways. Authenticity says, I put myself out there, because I can’t do it alone and I am confident enough to say so.
Authenticity isn’t only scary and it isn’t usually met with a hurtful response. The reward that living authentically gives us is that when we choose to be authentic, other people choose it too. Out of authenticity meaningful relationships are born. Real ministry and love happens. Christ shows up in the midst of authentic, honest hearts and works.
This is the basis of simply living by faith. When we give our lives to God we say, I can’t do this on my own. We get real and authentic before him. The fancy word for this is humility. Total dependence on God and a total acknowledgement of our need for this total dependence.
So this week, strip it away and get authentic. Be real. Mean what you say, say what you mean. Share your hurts and struggles. Pray together. Love people well. And be surprised at how others notice and respond.