One of the most important aspects of a strong witness for Christ is simple authenticity. But authenticity can be difficult in today's culture, with the prominence of social media and online identities.
Inauthenticity and people-pleasing are two widespread problems that can often go unnoticed.
The truth is that no one wants to hear lofty platitudes if the beliefs aren't lived out. We need to be ready to speak the truth in love, but if we seem inauthentic and disingenuous, our words will likely fall on uninterested ears.
Perhaps even worse, if inauthenticity continues unaddressed, it can lead to an inability to speak clearly, ineffective leadership and increased inability to make decisions.
So, how can we become more authentic? We first need to recognize the disconnect between what we express to others and what we actually think or feel.
We may think we are just being nice, but in reality, we could be basing our actions and words on how other people may respond. This form of "people-pleasing" can often be hidden under the guise of just "being nice."
While we should carefully consider how to deliver what we have to say, it is not a healthy habit to always be calculating our steps based on what others expect of us. God has called each one of us to be a unique person made in His image. He gave us each personalities, interests, desires, dreams and experiences. We need to stop discounting what we really think or feel or what. We must learn to live in an authentic way if we want to bring glory to God with our lives and advance His kingdom.
We need to get more in tune with what we actually think and feel in the first place. We need to recognize and overcome areas where we are inauthentic and we need to help others become more authentic.
How can we get more in tune with what we actually think and feel in the first place? How can we recognize and overcome areas where we are inauthentic? And how can we help others become more authentic? Learn how you can be led by the Spirit to become a more authentic you—just as God created you to be.
Ryan S. Howard, Ph.D., is the founder of Your Faith At Work, a ministry and business that helps Christians partner with God at work, at home and in the culture. Ryan has worked in the global manufacturing industry for over 15 years and has visited over 20 countries. Ryan hosts a weekly podcast and is the author of 21 Days to a New Workplace You. He lives in Iowa with his wife, Bruna, and their son, John. Learn more at ryanshoward.com. And listen to this episode of Your Faith at Work with Ryan S. Howard. His guest is Christian counselor George Hartwell.
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