Many Christians, myself included, make out that we are one thing when, on the inside, we are something else. In other words, we fake it. Not always, but more often that we’d like to admit. Christians are particularly adept at faking their spirituality. Yet, we still struggle with sin and often our spiritual lives are stagnant. Sometimes, the fake is all there is. How do we clear away the facade and live an authentic spirituality? There is one key starting point for all of us.
Authenticity requires the alignment of truth and reality. What is real and what is true need to be focused on the same thing. In our lives, this means our lives (reality) need to align to truth (the word of God). However, the Bible explains that we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). This isn’t something isolated to a few, but something that everyone on earth struggles with. You and I are what the Bible calls sinners (Rom 3:23).[shareable]Authenticity requires the alignment of truth and reality.[/shareable]
To solve this dilemma, either truth or reality needs to change. Since truth is unchanging (because God is unchanging), we can eliminate the idea of changing truth (though denial leads us to try anyway), and focus on changing the reality we can change – our lives. Yet, this isn’t simply a matter of reading a self-help book and becoming a better you.
Instead we are called to repent, which means to change our mind. Change our mind about what? Well, about pretty much everything. We hold to a facade because we hold to a view of ourselves and God that does not align with reality. To change this means we need to agree with God about who He is, and who we are. In the Bible, there is a Greek word for this, homologeo, which means “to say the same thing.” We find this word in 1 John 1:9, which says, “If we confess (homologeo) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” To state it simply, repentance means agreeing with God, and that starts by agreeing with God’s testimony about Himself first of all, and then agreeing with Him about our sin, or our falling short of His goodness.
This means we also see our need for righteousness, though we cannot obtain this righteousness for ourselves. But, this is precisely why God sent Christ, so that having taken our sin as His own, we might take His righteousness as our own (2 Cor 8:9). If we agree with God about who He is and the reality of who we are, we have a new perspective about everything. Other things are no longer critical, and instead, pleasing Him alone becomes our goal (2 Cor 5:9).
It is only when we are willing to give up everything to obtain Christ can we have an authentic spiritual life. If we are not willing to give up everything, then we will always hold something as more valuable than God, and that thing will be our true god and usurp the value and truth of the one true God.[shareable]It is only when we are willing to give up everything to obtain Christ can we have an authentic spiritual life.[/shareable]
But when we have this new perspective, we put everything below knowing and loving God through Christ, and all the other elements of our lives are reordered according to God’s instruction. In other words, we become obedient to Him. It is this obedience that makes repentance a single happy step and results in authentic spirituality. Genuine repentance results in spirituality without a facade, a willingness to acknowledge not only before God, but also others that we are what we are and that Christ is sufficient to make us right with God, so that I can call Him my Father.
Repentance is a happy step to authentic spirituality because we have peace with God. It is a happy step because we are justified in His eyes and pleasing to Him. It is a happy step because through it we gain adoption as His son. It is a happy step because it compells us to put our lives into the right order so that in all things we are pleasing to Him. It is a happy step because being right with God brings great joy, even in the midst of the sorrow that sin leaves on this world. And this happy step is the only step we need to take to obtain authentic spirituality.
[reminder comment=”Tell us about it below!”]Have you experienced the joy of obtaining God’s righteousness? [/reminder]