Stumbling into the grove called Gethsemane, Jesus displays the quintessential picture of authenticity. Look in on the moment as the writer Mark describes it: “And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch’” (Mark 14:32-34). One can hardly find a more real moment.
Which is why you and I should pay careful attention to the One who was so utterly authentic. So willing was Jesus to reveal His spiritual priorities. So willing was He to express His desire to be surrounded by meaningful friends. So willing was He to feel strong emotions like distress. So willing was He to articulate them to His friends. At this critical juncture in Jesus’ earthly life one sees a man totally transparent. He hides nothing.
Are you real? Webster characterizes authenticity as “conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance or belief.”
Is that you?
If not then let me charge you to take ownership of a strategy for living an authentic life. First, scrutinize the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the most colorful picture of the person you want to become. Jesus did not have a hypocritical bone in His body. Study His life as it is revealed in the Bible. Watch how He put Himself forward into the lives of others. See how He was simply Himself. Let Jesus be your role model.
Secondly, remember that God made you to be you. Psalm 139 highlights the fact that God made you “wonderfully.” You simply do not need to be someone else. Be yourself. Be real.
Thirdly, choose to do it. Herein is the tricky part. Studying the life of Christ, and recognizing our worth before God, are relatively easy matters. They captivate us. But to choose to live a certain way is a stumbling block of massive proportion. We simply don’t like having to will ourselves toward obedience and righteous living.
But anything less than this is not true. And in our day and age, too much is at stake to merely settle for what is less.