I will date myself right off by saying that when I was a teenager, the big thing was to “do my own thing.” We were all about “being myself,” being completely different and original, while at the same time looking suspiciously just like other teenagers. If we’d been offered the word authentic, we would have worn it out. Of course we were truly authentic—in fact we were the only truly authentic people on earth!
What a relief to read these words by Greg Pierce: “Christians must be suspicious of both received and prevailing wisdom until we are sure it meets the law of love” (The World as It Should Be, p. 13). Now here is the true definition of authentic for us Jesus followers. If it doesn’t match up to holy love, something is amiss.
“Likewise, we don’t get our authenticity from other people, including—and maybe especially—our family or our religious leaders” (p. 14). Peer pressure is out. Status quo is always questioned. The authentic life is grounded in God’s presence, God’s will for this world, and God’s love, which achieves that future.
But how does God’s love achieve the future that is God’s will? This marvelous future happens, moment by moment, as we allow that divine love to work through us. Greg uses the term “plug into God,” which makes me think of electricity. Just imagine: God’s very energy courses through us, as we allow it to do so.
Or, if we want to think more in the terms familiar to Jesus back in Nazareth, we are branches of a vine, and that vine is Jesus. And we receive our nourishment and energy—and fruitfulness—directly from Jesus. Divine life flows into, through, and out of, our lives.
So, if you want to be authentic, allow real life to energize your every word, thought, dream, and act. God is the only Real there is. And this Real Love has chosen to gather us into that miraculous thing called Life.
Draw a diagram of your life that includes home, workplace, private/personal, and community. As you meditate on each of these sections, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what the law of love desires.