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 Dear Friends,

             What does it mean to be authentic?  And, how important is it to be authentic?  Should we be more so than nonChristians because we believe in and are followers of Jesus?  Is this an important Christian virtue or is this just another cultural buzzword that will soon pass?  How authentic was Jesus and what did He have to say about it?  How much do you need authenticity from those you love and how authentic are you in the relationships you call your closest?  Would you know how to become more authentic if you wanted to?  Who is the most authentic person you know and why did this person come to mind?  Is authenticity something you need and something you ask for?

             Some synonyms come to my mind when I think of the word authenticity.  These would include, most importantly honesty, and other words like genuineness, and realness, congruency, warmth, openness, and the ability to communicate the truth in love.  There is an earthiness to these words that reminds me of fabric, such as, cotton and leather and wool, or of real wood with all of it's unique grains and magnificent smells.  God did a great job when He created these.

             The Bible validates that Jesus was the most authentic person who ever lived.  He lived this lifestyle and He is calling us to do the same.  In Mark 10:17-23, Jesus pressed the rich young ruler to sift through the motives behind his questions to get to the real issue: That money was his god. 

             Authenticity may be a new buzzword, but it represents one of the most important virtues God has been calling us to since the beginning of time.  This is true, first and foremost because God, in all three persons, has been authentic, genuine, real, and honest with us.  Since we have been created in His image, we not only need to be real with each other, but our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical being demands it, and I believe also requires it for us to be healthy, in all these areas. 

             The opposite of authenticity is deception, and the father of deception is the master of all lies, the devil.  Because of this, we must fight our natural tendency to lie in our relationships.  Where it is safe and where it is demanded by the nature of the committed relationships that we find ourselves in, with those God has put close to us, and with those that we have chosen to become close with, we need to strive to be as authentic as God allows us to be.  We need to pray for each other that this is so!                                                         

                       Trying to be authentic,