Before I start this post, I have something to say of the utmost importance.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much mayonnaise on your sandwich, don’t be friends with them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
(Author’s note: I asked my significant other’s younger brother what I should do a post about, and he said that everyone needs to hear that. I promised to oblige him.)
But that’s not what this post is about. (If you’re bored and want to read a brief history of mayonnaise, you can go here.)
I am not an athletic person. In elementary school, I came in last in every single home school track and field meet race I ran (which was way too many, in my opinion). Grade nine gym class was a horrible class which I’m sure I passed because of marks I received for effort. In college, I was playing volleyball with the youth/young adults group from church when my football-and-rugby-playing brother yelled across the court, “Emily, you have the coordination of a jellyfish!” I have always preferred a good book to a game ball.
The problem is, I want to be good at sports. I want to be athletic and strong and fit. And I really want to love running. I just…don’t.
Needless to say, I own five or six pairs of gym shorts, purple running shoes with neon green laces (I love them so much), track pants, yoga pants, leggings, and gym shirts. I own a couple “athletic” hoodies and a large pink-and-grey gym bag that I use as a duffel (I love it also). I can pull off the athlete look pretty well. I like these clothes because they’re comfy, and I am totally a no-fuss, minimal-makeup person when it comes to my wardrobe.
But it sometimes strikes me that when I’m running errands in track pants, runners and a hoodie, I look like an athlete to the average person. I sometimes feel like I’m lying to people about who I am.
But how often do I do that no matter how I’m dressed? How many times do I look like I have it all together, when I really don’t? And how many times do I look at someone else’s Instagram—a place they post their best pictures—and wish I had their life because it’s so perfect?We need to stop being concerned about how we look and focus on being imitators of Christ. Click To Tweet
Sometimes we are far more concerned about looking good than we are about being imitators of Christ. As Christians, we often get so set on needing to live the proper Christian life that we forget why we’re following Christ in the first place: because we’re broken. I need God’s grace. I need His love. I need His wisdom because I don’t have it all together.
Being genuine doesn’t mean posting no-makeup selfies or using the hashtag #tobehonest. It means not being afraid to admit that we don’t have it all together.
Living authentically is important because it tears down barriers in our relationships. When we are honest with others about our weaknesses, we get to enjoy friendship at a whole new level. You can also encourage others way more when you are being real. Not many people want to be told it’s going to be okay by someone who has never had struggles. Everyone has struggles; it’s just a matter of sharing. When I’m going through something, it is so great to talk to someone who has gone or is going through the same thing. When they share that with me, I am so encouraged. It reminds me of how great God is.To be a true encouragement to others, you need to live authentically. Click To Tweet
Sharing struggles also glorifies God. When you are dealing with something and relying on God, you can share that with others. You don’t need to have all the answers, but when people see that you aren’t perfect and that you are 100% relying on God to sustain you, that bears witness. It’s saying, “Look, I really don’t know, and I fail in this area all the time. But God’s grace is bigger than me, and He will give me the wisdom and strength I need. He’ll do the same for you.”
Finally, we need to focus on being instead of appearing because that’s how God looks at us. He can see right through us and is not fooled by our appearance in the least bit. (1 Samuel 16:7.) There are so many Bible verses speaking about how God looks at the heart, and you can’t fake that.
Today I want to encourage you to live genuinely. Doing so will bring you closer to others and make you an encouragement to the people around you. God bless!