Are You Authentic?

It’s hard to be a perfect person. To go to work and not make any mistakes. Process my code or my reports and everything run and prove perfectly. It makes for a perfect day at work.

Or to have time and energy one day, here and there, to clean the house. Not just dust or sweep or vacuum, but to really clean. Move all of the furniture. Wipe down the walls. Pull out the fridge and oven and even clean all of the shelves. It makes for a perfectly clean house.

Or to go through your day with your family when no one says a crossed word or has any issues. Kids clean their rooms with a smile. Parents interact together in pure honest love. All seems right in their little world. It makes for a perfect family.

In our new world of technology authentication codes are used to provide integrity and authentication assurances for our devices and messages. We can feel fairly secure that these codes prevent intruders from reeking havoc in our personal lives.

But what about our personal lives? The perfect work and family scenarios I started with, unfortunately do no exist. The core of our marriages/families should and sometimes do but the world around us often creates enough chaos that perfect harmony cannot exist on a consistent basis.

Part of the problem is our definition of perfect and our perception that we can and should be pursuing it. But is that realistic? Is it attainable?

Not only is it not realistic, it isn’t something we should be beating ourselves over the heads for not achieving. We should strive for perfection, but accept it isn’t possible to achieve. We are human. We have a sin nature. We can be forgiven for our sins but that doesn’t remove the natural desires.

The only way to do that is to constantly give those desires up to God in prayer. We won’t be perfect this side of Heaven. But we can strive to do better than the time before. Lean on Him and He will provide all that we need.

Be Mindful of Your Tongue

I know I was in a bad mood and hurting Saturday night at church but what I heard from people really made me bite my tongue. I wanted to call them out on what I heard them saying. But I listened to God and shut my mouth.

I heard one man telling a story about his daughter and he repeatedly called her his “dumb” daughter. It was rolling off of his tongue like it was normal. When people ask me how my mom is, sometimes depending on who it is, I’ll say she is ornery. She is and will tell you she is but I don’t harp on it or say it more than once. I then follow it up with how she is doing.

I heard a woman talking to another woman about how stupid a cashier was at her store. She went on and on about how she made mistakes several times while she was there. It didn’t matter to her how that cashier’s day was going. It didn’t matter what she was going through that no one could see. It didn’t matter that she is human. But this woman calls herself a Christian, who by definition isn’t perfect.

I saved the worst for last.

The woman behind us was telling the pastor about her nephew, I think. She explained how he had asked a girl to the prom. Then one day they were talking and he said something that made her tell him that she is an atheist. He told her the prom was off. He stood up for Jesus and the family was proud of him. But she went on to say that because he wears his heart on his sleeve and hasn’t dealt very much with death and other life issues that he would make a horrible pastor, which he is aspiring to be. I wanted to tell her “how dare you try to take God’s place”. What in the world! Why would anyone claiming to be a Christian be so narrow-minded and cruel.

I don’t understand people. I don’t understand why He shut me up. Probably because they wouldn’t have listened to me anyway. I’m sure He has a better idea and way to deal with this. Maybe I’m concerned about something I shouldn’t be. Maybe I was being over sensitive. Maybe it isn’t any of my business. Maybe I’m over reacting. Maybe I’m more aware of the things I say and do. Maybe my wanting to please God every minute of every day has tainted my view of people somehow. Could I be seeing too much? Could I be too critical of how people act and what they say? Could I have it wrong?