Have you ever thought about what it means to live an authentic Christian life? Does a yearning from deep within you pine for true self-expression?
When we’re young, we probably don’t think much about what it means to be authentic. Even Christian Kids and teens many times just follow the herd. It’s part of their self-development and social initiation.
However, as we age, we begin to recognize our freedom to make certain choices in life. We can decide to embrace specific types of habits, attitudes, values, and beliefs. Ideally, the words that flow from our lips, and the actions we take, should be in support of these choices. This, in a nutshell, is what makes an authentic life.
Being true to who we are in Christ is at the heart of an authentic life. This is about the realization that we are in no way locked into doing and being one way or another. It’s as Christ is formed in us that we become our authentic selves.
How we live is somewhat shaped early on by our family growing up. While in some ways many families are the same, in other ways we can be markedly different. Values and how we live in support of them, vary greatly from one family to the next.
So do self-expression and communication. Our attitudes, habits, and beliefs can be influenced by our parents and how they raised us. In turn, their beliefs may also have been determined by their own family upbringing, and by whatever social group that they belong to.
The shaping of how we think and feel about life is also largely influenced by
our faith, as well as by economic position, social status,
and community influence.
It’s actually amazing to think of how little opportunity we’re given to form our own, educated choices in life that we come with based on raw experience and not by what others dictate to us.
But once we recognize how much we’ve been influenced over the course of our lives, we can make room for new ideas and ideals, based on a realization of Christ in you the hope of glory.
At some point in our adult lives we may feel ready to take a cold hard look at how we live, and determine whether or not the facts of our daily existence remain in support of who we are on the inside.
We may realize that the choices that our parents deemed important for us actually do not fit our adult beliefs. How so? Once we leave the family home, we get to enjoy a different picture of life that’s colored by the places we go, the people we meet, and the new experiences we have as an adult who can choose to form opinions independently from what we were taught.
While family forms the foundation of our value system, it’s always good to reevaluate and see how far our life’s adventures have taken us from where we started out, and from the opinions that were handed to us from early on.
In fact, the more mature Christians we speak to, the more experiences we give ourselves, the more we grow, and the more strongly and securely we can settle into our Christ version of authenticity.
At some point during your adult years, you might wish to re-examine the contents of your life to see if any changes can be made. In this way, you might move closer to discovering Jesus as the truth — and experience greater personal well-being and as a result, inner peace.