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Navigating the Age of Artificial with Authenticity

Can we talk about something real for a minute? I mean, like, really real? In a world where everyone's Instagram feed looks like a highlight reel and TikTok dances seem to be the new currency, staying real can feel like trying to find an eagle in a sea of pigeons.


Being authentic isn't just a cool slogan; it's a game-changer, especially when you're trying to follow Jesus in a world that's obsessed with filters, fake news, and AI.


Being you

Authenticity isn't about comparing yourself to others or trying to live up to some impossible standard. It's about being true to who you are – flaws, quirks, and all. And guess what? Jesus is all about that realness.


Jesus didn't hang out with the cool kids or the influencers of his day. He seemed to like being with the misfits, the outcasts, the ones who didn't fit the mold. He saw past the surface and into the heart, and he loved people for who they were, not who they pretended to be.


Peter was impulsive, outspoken, and downright messy at times. But you know what? Jesus saw something in him – a raw passion and a heart that was hungry for more.


He didn't try to change Peter or mold him into someone he wasn't.  He wanted to bring out the uniqueness and the image of God already in Peter. He embraced him, warts, and all, and used him to do amazing things.


Fast forward to today. We're living in a world where fake news is everywhere, and deep fakes are becoming harder and harder to spot. It's enough to make your head spin. How do you keep it real in a world that is all about smoke and mirrors?


Life is simple, until it’s not. It is unsettling how easy life goes from day to day normal to confusing. We all carry around important questions requiring real answers.


When life is normal the questions are nagging. You can deal with the algorithms, chat bots and answering machines. When life is complex and painful the questions become aggravating.


The questions are suddenly deeper, more important and need real answers. I have been in this spot, my wife has been in this spot, and my two adult daughters have been in this spot.


We hit a point where cheap cliches, fake happiness, and a sales pitch won’t do. When past pains, present tensions, or future fears are dominating your mind; It’s time to explore real answers.


If you want real answers, it only comes one way, by being real. When you live and authentic life the confusion and questions come but you are better equipped to get the answers you need.


Here are a few truths about being authentic and getting real answers from the ultimate playbook – the Bible:

 

1. Know Who You Are: In a world that's constantly trying to tell you who you should be, take some time to figure out who you are. What makes you tick? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are you passionate about? Once you know who you are, own it – unapologetically.


The deepest part of your identity starts with Jesus, as a follower of Jesus you don’t have an identity outside of Him. First and foremost, you are who He says you are. Chosen, set apart, righteous and precious to God. A son or daughter of the most High King.

 

2. Be Vulnerable: This one's tough, I know. It's so much easier to put up walls and pretend like everything's fine. But here's the thing – vulnerability is where the magic happens. It's where connections are made, where healing begins, where growth happens.


Start by being honest with God…He already knows whatever it is you have been ignoring or hiding. Tell him, then tell someone else who loves you and loves Jesus about your struggle. Don't be afraid to let your guard down and show your scars.

 

3. Surround Yourself with Real Ones: See the last point. You know those friends who keep you accountable? The ones who call you out when you're being fake and celebrate your wins like they're their own? Yeah, hold on to those ones. They're worth their weight in gold.

 

4. Stay Grounded in Truth: With all the fake news and media manipulation out there, it's more important than ever to stay grounded in truth. And lucky for us, we've got the ultimate truth-teller  – Jesus.


Listen to him by reading the Bible. Dive into his word, soak up his teachings, and let them be your guide in a world that's full of noise. You know how bank teller spots counterfeit bills? They handle the real thing so much the fakes stand out. Spend so much time with the truth that anything off or deceptive stands out.

 


5. Embrace Grace: Last but not least, cut yourself some slack. We all mess up. We all fall short.  That's where grace comes in. When you fall (which you will), dust yourself off, give yourself a little grace, and keep moving.


As I have said before keep your eye on making progress not being perfect.

 In a world obsessed with image and illusion, be a beacon of authenticity.

Be real. Be raw. Be you. And remember, you're not in this alone. Jesus is right there with you, cheering you on every step of the way. Go ahead – live authentically, and watch as the world around you begins to change for the better.


 

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