Authentic Faith: What is Authenticity?
What does it mean to be authentic?
Why do we value authenticity today?
How have you experienced authenticity in your life? When have you experienced an in-authentic person?
Do you think that authenticity is a Christian trait? Why or why not?
The internal call to compose an original life.
Rather than conforming blindly to the expectations of society.
Negative Authenticity: Narcissism, sociopathy
Positive Authenticity: Self-examined, creative, unique, self-responsible.
An Authentic Life
We are told consistently about the importance of living your best life. Well what is that best life according to the world?
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. Go and do that, because what the world needs is people who come alive!”
Felt experience is central to living a good life. Composing an original life, marked by fulfilled emotion and experience is the most important thing.
“There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called upon to live my life this way, not in imitation of anyone else. This gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life, I miss what being human is for me!”
Being True to Myself: This is a goal that an authentic life has, but it is something only I can articulate and discover for myself!
Truly Authentic: To live a truly authentic life we must forge our own way of being human, one that deeply resonates with our sense of place in the world.
Do you feel this pressure to live an original life? To find your own way of succeeding? To find your own dream career, your own meaningful contributions? Why or what not?
We live in a world where individuals and groups are encouraged to define and express their own particular identities.
The worst sin seems to be an intolerance of someone else’s unique way of being human.
We live in a world where we are all becoming what we want to be, rather than a sense of living into the identity we’ve been bestowed.
What are some of the identities that you feel encouraged to pushed into as a University student?
As Christian’s we’ve been bestowed the greatest of all identities.
Authenticity & Others
In this world of expression and pursuit of unique identity, in order for us to be deemed unique, we need to be recognized.
Example: Imagine posting a picture to IG or video to TikTok and getting no likes or reactions. What are some of the things that go through your head as your phone doesn’t go off with any notifications?
Our life must resonate with the larger world, it must be recognized, if it isn’t it leads us to despair.
To be seen we need to have those in our life who see us. This is not only social media, but can be in personal relationships. Those who have a good community of support, experience their own authenticity more deeply because they are recognized for who they are.
This is the key to an authentic Christian community - a family of people seeking Jesus, and seeing Jesus in the lives of those around them. Encouraging, edifying, and naming the individual gifts and abilities of those who also call that community home.
Faith and Authenticity
An Authentic Faith
Read Matthew 5:13-16
An Authentic Faith is one that is honest.
An Authentic Faith is one that bears fruit, that others experience the love of Christ through.
An Authentic Faith is one that does not trust in itself, but relies on Jesus who makes all things new.
Einfuhlung: Feeling the way into faith
Instead of the best theological arguments or the deepest reading of the Bible, instead being led by God through our emotions or our minds to feel or experience God personally and first-hand.
We perceive the glory in the ordinary.
What do you think about the idea of feeling your way into your Christian faith? Does it feel wrong? Is it how you came to faith to begin?
An authentic faith takes personal ownership of belief, of conviction, and of identity. Although these things are being formed, especially at University age, we still take ownership that these are things that give us meaning, that help us understand the world, that help us to see our own meaning in this life.