I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, because I hear it often. In one of my classes, the authors of a book kept talking about “authenticity” this and “authenticity” that, and that a leader is full of integrity and knows who they are…but they never really defined what authenticity is, and the temptation I think we carry to do and be something and justify it by saying we’re being authentic…as if that’s the trump card in a conversation that should cause people to step back and concede our point…
But doesn’t being a Christ-follower kick up the conversation another notch?
I’m reading Erwin McManus, and he puts the itch I’ve been experiencing well.
“In recent times in our culture we have put an increasing value on authenticity and a decreasing focus on integrity…when calling for authenticity, we need to take seriously the brokenness and sinfulness of the human heart. Our claim that we are committed to being authentic can actually be a facade for self-indulgence. If we’re not careful, authentic can be the new word for arrogance. As long as you’re true to yourself- say what you mean- just get it out- how can anyone fault you in any way?
Authenticity can establish a self-righteousness that justifies abuse..
If we’re committed to being the genuine article, we’d first better look closely at what we’re made of. Authenticity without integrity is lethal. To be authentic when our hearts are dark and corrosive is equivalent to opening Pandora’s box...”