BE AUTHENTIC || Week 3 of 3
Welcome to week three of my three-week series entitled: “LoveYourself, Love The World, BE AUTHENTIC” If you haven’t read week one or two, be sure to check those out! I highly encourage you to read these in order. (you’ll see why later)
Now That We’ve Got That Out Of The Way, Let’s Get Started!
Authenticity. Just let That Word Soak In For a Minute.
What does it mean to be authentic? Let us first look at the definition of the word authenticity itself.
Authenticity or authentic (you may notice that I’ll use these words interchangeably since their meanings are synonyms.), as defined by Dictionary.com is not false or copied; genuine; real and representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.
This means that in order for us to be authentic we must be genuine and real while representing our nature and beliefs.
What You Can Expect
In this blog post, I will write about the two topics below and share their importance in relation to authenticity with you.
- Being genuine and real while representing one’s nature
- Being genuine and real while representing one’s beliefs
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’re in the right place! Just keep reading.
Being Genuine and Real While Representing One’s Nature
Our nature — or human nature is the “distinguishing characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally.” – Wikipedia.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” – Matthew 16:26 NIV
I gave the example of wearing my hair a certain way because as a black female, I felt so out of place surrounded by people who didn’t look like me. It took years of damaging my hair before I finally realized that I didn’t have to be like everyone else. I can wear my hair natural and be who I am, and I can love myself regardless because God loves me.
Can I Ask You This Question?
If someone were to ask “who are you?” or that dreaded interview question, “Tell me about yourself” how would you respond? These are two of those questions that you never really think about until you’re faced with the task of responding.
I admit, it’s a really tough question and up until recently, I wasn’t able to answer it. Before I would have responded with: “Well, I’m Ashley Hope Woodson and I enjoy reading and playing The Sims.” You may be wondering, ‘what’s wrong with that sentence, it looks fine to me?’. Well, you see, it doesn’t say anything about who I truly am. You have no idea what I’m really like other than my joy for reading books and playing The Sims.
Now if you were to ask me the same question, I would say “My name is Ashley Hope Woodson and I am a child of God with an incredible calling on my life to share the love and word of Jesus Christ with the world.” Only after that, would I mention my love for books, The Sims and whatever else I enjoy doing.
Did You Notice The Difference?
In the first statement, I seemed a little unsure of myself and used worldly things to describe what I liked to do. In the last statement, I was sure of myself and recited it in such a way that there is absolutely no question in your mind about who I am – or at least I hope so!
The only thing that changed in my life between the first statement and the second was learning to love myself. Which once again brings us back to the first post of this series Love Yourself. Seriously, If you have yet to read it, check it out! This post will make a lot more sense.
Once I learned how to love myself, I knew who I was. Now that I know who I am, I am able to be authentic (genuine and real) in my nature.
Being Genuine and Real While Representing One’s Beliefs
In order to be genuine and real while representing our beliefs, we must first understand the meaning of the word Beliefs itself.
The definition of beliefs as defined by dictionary.com is “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.” or trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.”
In the general sense, beliefs could be something like “I believe hard work and dedication pays off” or “Slow and steady wins the race”. In this case, though, I am using the word beliefs to describe my faith or confidence in knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. I believe that God gave his one and only son as a sacrifice so that we can be forgiven of our sins and have everlasting life.
It’s one thing for me to declare these things to you in the name of Jesus Christ, it’s another to actually take up my cross and walk with him daily. I am not being real or genuine about my beliefs unless I live every single day reflecting those beliefs.
As a Christian, I believe that God has two commands for us; The first being: “To believe in his Son, Jesus Christ”, and the second being: “To love one another as he commanded us.” – 1 John 3:23.
We have seen above, and in week one of this series that believing in his Son is the foundation that must be set in order to love yourself. In week two of this series, I wrote about loving the world, or put more specifically, the act of loving your neighbor.
Only after we have mastered these two things – Loving Yourself (Including God’s 1st command) and Loving The World (Including God’s 2nd command) can we truly be authentic. (being real and genuine when representing our nature and beliefs.)
Overall Key Takeaway
If you have followed along from week one up until now, thank you so incredibly much.
The motive behind this series is to show you the importance of loving yourself and loving the world and the significance that it has in your life. Not only is it important to love yourself and love the world in general, it directly ties into scripture!
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