I'm reading "The Millennium Matrix" by M. Rex Miller. This is a book my pastor read and it piqued my interest so it's on loan to me. Let me just say I am going to have to buy it. It's almost like a text book in that there is so much information and I'm a book marker, always have been, no apologies, it just makes it VERY DIFFICULT to "borrow" books because I like to mark and note pages and passages.
I read through a passage yesterday that I want to share and then pose a question. The passage is titled "The Hunger for Authenticity". The premise is that the Gen-Xer's are seeking authenticity in church and in life as a whole. What I heard is: they aren't willing to "play church" even at the expense of their spiritual existence.
Mr. Miller was speaking with one of these Gen-Xer's informally. He had a short conversation with him and...well here are his words:
"He said that he was comfortable because I did not 'hype' him by portraying an image of having my act together. He appreciated that I did not open the Bible in order to leverage my perspective. We talked friendship, not formulas, and we did not end with any agenda accomplished."
I love this passage. It validates my imperfection. I am imperfect and it's seemed to be a source of contention in some formal "church" settings.
Mr. Miller goes on to say:
"Authenticity derives its power out of a clear sense of identity...Authentic cultures combine the qualities of reality (seeing things as they are) and authenticity (being who you really are) in order to connect with those unique qualities that define their identity. Once they grasp those qualities and harness them, these cultures quickly become beacon lights that attract others. When the church reclaims this wisdom, the world will come to its doors."
Well that gets me excited! Really it does. First, that my pastor is impassioned by this line of thinking enough that he would encourage my reading of it. Secondly, that there IS validation in my being who God made me to be, imperfections and all! I'm not trying to use this as an excuse to drop the F-bomb (which I do occasionally). Rather, I am excited because there is truth in authenticity that is not always found inside a church building.
Here are my questions: Is there a price for this authenticity (personal and/or cultural)?
and ~ What does authentic living look like to you?Happy Friday!