Be Authentic

GGF Pastor’s Blog: Be Authentic

The other day I was asked by a new attendee at Northwest Bible Church how was it that all our children, though they are all independent twenty-somethings, still choose to attend the church where I am the pastor.  “Most pastors’ kids we know want nothing to do with the ministries where their parents serve.  How’d you do that?”

I had never really given it much thought, so I asked them the question.  And here is what they said: “Well, you encourage others by using them as models of godliness; you willingly share your mistakes and failures, allowing us to learn from them.”  While I appreciate their help, I had to let them in on a little secret I learn from a mentor of mine years ago: “You are only as strong as you are honest.”  The truth is, I’d rather own a weakness before someone else discovers it.

Authenticty_2Without even knowing our family was fleshing out transparent accountability; the greatest gift we can give to fellow strugglers.  If it is true that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), why are we afraid of being condemned because we fail.  Last time I checked, we all do!  Why not own it, creating a climate where it is safe to confess sin early?  My younger brother once said: “Until you own your sin and confess it, you remain a slave to it.  But once it is out in the open, it becomes powerless over you!”  He probably knew this simple triad: 1) Unconfessed Sin is Progressive; 2) Sin Grows best in the Dark; and 3) Confession brings Cleansing and Mercy (Proverbs 28:13).

So I guess my encouragement is to make a commitment to being authentic.  When you make a mistake, own it!  When there is a problem, acknowledge it.  When you aren’t sure about something, admit it.  People will follow a leader who is real than one who is right.