“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”-Oscar Wilde
We live in a world that seems to thrive well in being inauthentic. Social media might be the root of most of today’s inauthenticity. People live false lives in an attempt to be like that person on Instagram or Facebook that they admire. We always push ourselves to achieve unrealistic goals- be it to get that slim waist or purchase that expensive car. I have heard of people who desperately want beautiful profiles, so they borrow cars and pretend that they own them. Other individuals go to the extreme of stealing photos to paint a specific lifestyle that doesn’t exist. I believe another reason why people live inauthentic lives is that they do not know what the word of God says about them. They instead rely on earthly opinions and unachievable societal standards.
I genuinely believe God values authenticity. He wants us to be the most authentic form of ourselves. Why? He made each of us with a different purpose and plan. To fully execute his plan and purpose for us, we have to be true to who we are and what we were created to be. The Lord did not mass produce us in haste! Instead, he carefully thought of us, and the word tells us that he knitted us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He delicately took his time to create something he saw as good.
Even before we were birthed, it says he predestined us for great works. In Jeremiah 1:5, we get a glimpse of a calling on Jeremiah’s life, we are told:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born, I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
I find it powerful that Jeremiah was set apart and appointed as a prophet- before he was born! It also tells us that he knew us even before we knew ourselves. God knew Jeremiah’s doubt and insecurities. When Jeremiah was finally called to his purpose, he questioned God. He said he was too young and that he was unable to speak to the nations. God assured him, and in further text, we see that he was in constant communication with God. For us to authentically walk in our purpose, we need to be in communication with God constantly. We cannot be satisfied in our true form without God! We need to listen to that still small voice and present our insecurities and doubt to him so that he can help us overcome them. When we do this, we align ourselves to our calling by being authentically ourselves.
I once lived with a lady who was 15 years older than me. She had expressed that she had switched her career multiple times and was unsure about herself and her abilities. She felt like she missed so many opportunities and her last attempt was to immigrate to the U.S. When we lived together, I began to minister to her about God’s purpose and calling. She mentioned that she wanted to be a teacher and I was so happy that she had started to identify and hopefully pursue her calling. However, as time went on…I realized that the reason why she had been going around in circles was that she was not living an authentic life. She confided in me that she dated married men in the past because she wanted what the other women had. She did not see herself as good enough. She always wanted to be like somebody else. She was continually pursuing the calling and dreams of others. After a few months of living with her, I saw that she started changing everything about herself to replicate other people. She even refused to pursue her calling and set herself in a totally different path. I remember continuously praying for her. I know this is a rather extreme example, but it made me realize the extent of inauthenticity in today’s world.
The sad reality is, if we live an inauthentic life, we will never be satisfied. We will never achieve our potential, and worse, we will never arrive at our destination where our purpose comes to fruition. Like the lady I lived with, you may go around in circles searching for things that do not match with the calling that was predestined over your life. You will try and wear everyone else’s calling while you deny what is inside you. God has provided all the tools for you to succeed and all you need to do is look to him for guidance. I am not saying that once you follow God’s calling in your life, things will be smooth. I am still pursuing God’s calling in my life, and I sometimes doubt and question. Things do get turbulent. However, I feel that this is right, and I can’t wait to see the calling mature finally.
I challenge you to go against the grain. Be daring to take that rugged and unexplored route- that narrow path that everyone shuns. Take a stand to have faith in that which is unseen. Find hope to speak life to that dream and calling that has been tailored just for you. BE AUTHENTIC in your fearless pursuit!