Are You Willing to Persevere for Jesus?

Friday, February 23, 2018 No comments

Have you ever read Hebrews 6? I had a long time ago, but it had been a while until Bible study this week. And this passage is HEAVY, y'all! I'm talkin' an elephant-sized amount of heavy! Because reading about apostasy two weeks in a row, and discussing how people can see Jesus, hear His word, but in the end decide to reject it, it's just hard. But it's written so that we will persevere. In fact, that's one of the main reasons the book of Hebrews was written- to encourage us to persevere for Jesus and not give up.

The thing about apostasy is, no one ever thinks it's going to be them that turns their back on Jesus. Sometimes, people are blind to their own rejection of the faith, because they've invented a false version of Jesus that they follow until the day they die (in other words, "Christian" false teachers). 

My Bible study leader pointed out that even in the case of Judas, everyone thought that he was a true follower. When Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him, no one said, "Well it's pretty obvious that it's going to be Judas. We've been seeing signs for months". On the contrary, the disciples started worrying and asking Jesus, "Is it me, Lord?" (Mark 14:19).

But the thing we need to realize is, apostasy can be avoided. That's the whole reason the author of Hebrews took the time to warn his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. He knew that a warning like this- one full of hard truths- would encourage them to persevere until the end. Because the Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. And the truth of the matter is that we just need to finish the race.

Most of you have probably heard by now that Billy Graham passed away. And when we talk about perseverance, Reverend Graham definitely fits into the category of someone who ran a long, hard, and fulfilling race for Jesus, and now he has finally entered his true home.

There's a lot about Billy Graham's life that I hope to emulate in my own. I want to share Jesus with others in a way that speaks to their hearts. I want to glorify God until the day I die, no matter what I go through before I get there.

But persevering doesn't mean we all have to be preachers or missionaries. Perseverance simply means running a faithful race for Jesus through the ups and downs, the fruitful seasons and the fruitless seasons. Persevering for Jesus means that even when we feel like we can barely hang on, we hang on anyway, trusting God to keep us.

But how do we do this practically? How can we make sure we persevere until the end? How do we make sure we don't give up?

Persevere for Jesus. Don't give up. Run the race. How to persevere. #faith #Christianity #perseverance

"And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." -Hebrews 6:11-12 (ESV)

Stay in Scripture

God tells us that His word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), and that it is useful for correcting us and training us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Something that powerful has the ability to shape us and renew our minds (Romans 12:2). It's no wonder that God tells us to write His word on our hearts (Deut. 11:18).

 Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

God tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:16-18). He tells us to bring all of our requests to Him (Philippians 4:6). And so that we have a good example to go by, He even tells us how to pray (Matt. 6:9-13). He doesn't expect that we always pray the same things or the same way, but He asks that we come to Him, trust Him, and commune with Him. And as we commune with Him, He will strengthen us with patience and endurance (Col. 1:11-12).

Seek Godly People

Whether we like to admit it or not, there's always power in community and accountability. The more we surround ourselves with people who love God, and who encourage us to seek Him and love Him more, the easier it will be for us to persevere until the end. People who do not surround themselves with wise and godly believers will tend to have a harder time persevering when the going gets tough. (Proverbs 11:14).

Unsure of where to find these godly people? Start by getting involved in a solid, humble, and Bible-believing church. From there you can meet Christian friends, get plugged into small groups, and find areas to serve (which also helps you meet people). Trust me, even the hard-core introvert needs godly people in their lives.

Persevering until the end is not easy. In fact, just like a marathon runner has to discipline themselves and train in order to finish the race, we also will have to discipline ourselves to take the steps necessary to finish the race. We can't just pray a prayer asking for salvation and then assume that we will make it until the end with no extra effort. No, we need the strength of God to carry on. Thankfully, He'll give it. We just need to keep seeking after Him!

3 Steps to Help You Avoid Abandoning the Faith. #Faith #Jesus #Christianity

Natural DIY Pain Cream for Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 No comments

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice in this post. I am simply sharing my journey with chronic pain, and the natural, DIY salve that's helped me with my joint and muscle pain. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure about proper treatment. 


When I was in high school, I played basketball. It was my favorite thing to do with my time and I was totally convinced I was going to play in college. But an injury I had had for a long while was getting worse, and at 18 years old, it was becoming clear that my body was already tired of all the practices and games. I had already been diagnosed with arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis in my left hip, and things weren't getting any easier as I also had bursts of pain from my sciatic nerve.

Flash forward 9 years, and here we are. I don't talk a lot about my pain on the blog, and honestly, I never even knew I fit into the "chronic pain" category until a year or two ago. But it's true that I do, in fact, fit in there. There are days where I can't work on my blog because I cannot sit without pain. Those days don't come very often, and I am thankful, but they are still frustrating, especially since those days could show up at any time.

Twice in the last 4 years, my hip and back have completely locked up, rendering me bedridden. I had to be helped to the bathroom, and I couldn't just go into the kitchen to grab food if my husband was at work. It's miserable, painful, and a huge pain in the butt.

Fortunately, most of the time my pain is manageable. I am able to go for walks and do other fun things as long as I pace myself. I take a few Ibuprofen most days, and that's enough to ward off the major pain. About once a year, I get a steroid shot which helps too.

Overall, I'm truly, honestly fine. But there are days when I just don't want to take Ibuprofen because I don't want to take too many for my body to process. And there are days when I did take Ibuprofen, but it doesn't work as well. On those days, I need something more to help me get through. And recently, I learned how to make my own, natural pain salve for joint and muscle pain. Is it a cure-all? No. But is it a nice relief that helps me manage pain? Absolutely!

Natural, DIY Pain Cream for Chronic Muscle and Joint Pain. #chronicpain #essentialoils

I love modern medicine, and I think it has done wonders, but I also really appreciate any time I don't have to use an excess of it. And since I already take Ibuprofen frequently, I wanted to use something for my hip that was completely natural whenever possible.

Since my friend was selling essential oils and I was enjoying using them periodically, I decided to try mixing the oils into a pain salve. It was really simple and quick to do, and the salve goes a long way.


A GLASS jar (do not use plastic as it will mess up the essential oils)

1.5 Cups Coconut Oil (NOT the liquid, cooking kind)

15 Drops Peppermint Oil

15 Drops Lavender Oil

10 Drops Lemongrass Oil (optional)

*Lemongrass does add an extra boost of help with pain, but I'm not going to lie. I add it to the mix because it makes it smell like Fruit Loops 😁


Put coconut oil and essential oils into a glass bowl. Use a fork to whip together until smooth. This takes about three minutes at most. Make sure you are not using plastic in any of this process as plastic breaks down the oils and messes them up. Once everything is mixed together, add it to your glass jar and store in a cool, dark space.


This pain cream goes a long way. On my hip, I use the equivalent of two quarters in size, but that covers my hip and part of my lower back (and I am not the smallest person in the world. haha). So, to start, use about a quarter-sized (or smaller) dab of cream and rub really well into the area where the pain is. Use when needed. Give your body a day or so of using the oils. Sometimes there is an adjustment period.

If you are dealing with chronic pain, you might want to try this natural salve. It won't make everything magically right, but I do find it helpful for pain-management. Again, consult your doctor with any questions you may have. I am not a doctor, I just know what has helped me.

And if you do not have chronic pain, but you are someone who has sore-muscles from your workouts or your job, this salve could also benefit you.

What methods do you use to deal with pain? Comment below.

Natural, DIY Pain Cream for Joint and Muscle Pain. #Chronicpain #essentialoils #naturalpainrelief

4 Things That Keep Christians from Growing

Friday, February 16, 2018 No comments

This post is the third installment of my Hebrews series for the Blogging Through The Bible Linkup. Come see the other posts and join in!


The book of Hebrews is quickly becoming one of my favorites through the Bible study I've been attending. It's been eye-opening on so many levels, and it has been helping me grow in my faith, which is, of course, the goal. And one thing I didn't put together before this Bible study, is that the whole book of Hebrews is being written as a warning to those listening. The author has been made aware that though the audience is Christian, they have been considering going back to Judaism. But the author of Hebrews writes them to encourage them to hold fast, and to remember that Jesus is better than anything else. He wants to see them grow in their faith- not abandon it.

We see this theme in several different ways through the first five chapters of Hebrews, but the most prominent display of the author's warnings come in Hebrews chapters 5 and 6. These chapters deal with the theme of apostasy (the act of abandoning the Christian faith), and how the author is becoming concerned for the one's he is writing to, as he is noticing some worrisome signs.

For today, we are going to tackle Hebrews 5:11-14, which is all about what keeps Christians from growing in their faith. And as we dig in, let's remember that these warning are for us just as much as it was for the audience of Hebrews. God uses these types of warnings to keep us on track.

4 Things That Can Keep You From Growing in Your Faith. #Faith #Christianity

"About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." Hebrews 5:11-14 (ESV)


The author of Hebrews makes the comment that it's hard to explain these truths to those he is addressing, because they have become "dull of hearing" (verse 11). In this verse, the word "dull" can also mean "lazy" or "numb". In other words, when they heard the truths of God, they were basically just like, "Yeah, yeah. I've got this. I already know truth".

Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. In fact, it happens a lot at church. I'll zone out during a sermon and comfort myself with the fact that I already know the truth. But we should never become lazy about hearing truth, and we should never desensitize ourselves to the message of God. Being lazy of hearing is a great way to stop growing.


The writer of Hebrews has also noticed that his audience has been in a cycle of learning a biblical truth but then quickly "forgetting" what they've learned and having to relearn it all over again (verse 12).

For any parents reading this, think about how it feels when you teach your child something. Do you ever get frustrated when your child acts as if they've never been taught in that area before? Because at that point, instead of getting to build upon what you've already taught them, and instead of getting to teach them even bigger and better things, you find yourself having to go back and reteach the same principle over again.

That's exactly what was going on in these verses, and that's what the author was feeling so frustrated with. He felt that they should be at a point spiritually where they could be teaching and helping others, but instead, here they were, staying stagnant and needing to be retaught themselves.

Unskilled (in God's word)

Part of the reason that the audience of Hebrews was so forgetful with what they had learned, is because they were not staying in God's word. The author uses the term "unskilled", which basically meant that their understanding of it was weak, and they didn't know nearly as much about it as they should (verse 13).

As Christians, we know that we aren't going to grow in our walk with God if we don't dig in to scripture. And we are also going to be unskilled (ie unlearned) in it's truths until we decide to change that.

Lacking Discernment

The last thing that the author of Hebrews addresses in this passage is the fact that the audience is lacking in discernment (verse 14). He directly ties this to the fact that they are unskilled in God's word, and that this lack of discernment makes it way harder for them to tell the difference between good and evil.

The thing about not being able to discern good from evil is that it will cause us to make really poor choices. And despite the fact that these poor choices may be unintentional, they will still end up taking us down a winding road of confusion and sin.

The author was concerned by this. He obviously didn't want to see these people end up falling into that life, and he knew that if they did, they would not grow in their faith.

The Remedy

The thing about it is, the author wanted the audience to understand that the remedy for all of this was to dive head-first into their relationship with God. He knew that they were capable of turning things around and he knew they were capable of growing in their faith.

He knew that if they would start really listening to what God was teaching them, they would grow. That if they would start putting what they had learned into practice so they wouldn't forget and have to relearn it all, they would grow. He knew that if they would seek to be knowledgeable of God's word, they would sharpen their powers of discernment, and they would grow.

He wasn't giving this warning in a rude way. He was giving this warning out of a deep love for his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was reminding them that Jesus is better, and they shouldn't settle for anything less. And he was reminding them that they need to keep growing.

Are you growing in your faith? Here are 4 things that can keep you from growing in your faith. Do any of these sound like you?

Products I've Loved All Year Long

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 No comments

This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you use one of my links to buy a product, I will earn a small amount of money, at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

I tend to be a "stuff" person. I have way more "stuff" than I know what to do with, and my hubby says I shouldn't bring home any more furniture, because we can't fit any more in our house. And it's entirely possible that I am unable to fit any more clothes in my closet or very large dresser, even though I wear the same 8 outfits on repeat... Ooops 😳

I think it's safe to say that typically, this isn't a good thing. I buy things I don't need to be spending money on, and when I get the itch to shop, I tend to be impulsive. I do not- I repeat: do not- recommended this habit. It can be destructive. And though I have definitely improved in this area in the last year or so, it's still a struggle. Baby steps I guess? 😅

However, I will say that one advantage to my compulsive shopping is that sometimes I discover a product that really is awesome, and that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. I guess I could say that's the one redeeming factor of such a terrible habit.

I recently read an article by Joanna Gaines in which she said that for Christmas, she and her friends have a "favorite things" party. They get together and give each other gifts, but with a twist: each person is supposed to give the item that has been their "favorite thing" over the past year to the other guests.

I loved this idea for a Christmas get together, but since Christmas is over, I thought I might as well share my favorite items from 2017 with all of you, and maybe you can enjoy them throughout 2018!

This is going to be a big, hodge-podge list. You are going to see everything from K-Cups to beauty products. My hope is to provide you with a list of awesome things to try and experience this year. You may end up finding your new favorite product.

11 Products I Love | The best coffee, tea, beauty products, and healthy snacks.

Coffee & Tea

Favorite K-Cup (Tie):

Trader Joe's French Roast & Peet's Coffee French Roast 

Obviously, I like French Roast. But what I love about both TJ's French Roast and Peet's French Roast, is that they are both smooth, bold, and don't break the bank. I can't afford expensive coffee unless it's a special treat, but with these, I can have really delicious coffee without worrying about that!

Favorite Store Bought, Whole-Bean:
Trader Joe's French Roast

If you've never purchased coffee at TJ's, it's a wonderful experience. Why? Because you pick a canister of whole bean coffee and go grind it yourself while you are there, which means you get to breath in the fumes of that fresh, "nectar of life" while you shop. Nuff' said, right?

Favorite Locally Roasted in Charlotte, NC:
Enderly Coffee ( I love the Guatemalan blend).

Enderly Coffee is sold in multiple sites throughout Charlotte, but I discovered it at the coffee shop at my husband's seminary. It's very good, locally roasted coffee. As usual, I go for the smooth, dark roast but they have other roasts as well. If you aren't in Charlotte, you can order online.

Favorite Tea:
Tiesta Tea (Blue Berry Wildchild)

I'm much more of a coffee person than a tea person, but every once in a while I crave a really good cup of tea. It wasn't until a couple of months ago that I discovered this tea, but I am sooooo glad I did. It's delicious, it's caffeine-free, it's not over-priced, and it's made almost entirely of dried fruit.

Heathy(ish) Snack Options

Favorite Protein Option
The Good Bean Chickpea Snack

I have absolutely fallen in love with dried and flavored chickpeas as a snack. They are high in protein, pretty filling, and oh-so-very delish! I linked to my favorite flavor/brand above, but there are lots of kinds you can try!

Favorite Salty Snack
Terra Root Veggie Chips

This is another snack I've been pretty addicted to lately! Terra has several types of chips I enjoy, but their original root chips are my favorite. They are better (in my opinion), than a normal potato chip.

Favorite Sweet Snack
Noosa Apple Cinnamon Yoghurt

Yogurt can have a whole lot of sugar if you don't pick carefully- I know that. And as far as health benefits go, I could find plenty of other types of yogurt that are better for me. But man-oh-man, Noosa Yoghurt (Apple Cinnamon flavor), is just incredibly good. It honestly makes a great dessert! At least there's protein, right? 😉

Hair & Beauty

Favorite On-the-Go Product
The Honest Company Leave-In Conditioner

Most of the time, I can just use conditioner when I am in the shower, but when I'm in a rush it's hard because my hair is so thick that shampooing and conditioning takes forever. But I discovered that The Honest Company's leave in conditioner is really great even in my thick hair, and it's a bit faster than trying to wash out my normal conditioner. It also smells fantastic!

Jason Peppermint

I really don't like using regular toothpaste, because there are so many chemicals. I have tried my hand at making my own, but I don't like the consistency. Jason toothpaste is natural and keeps me from having to make my own.

Favorite Mascara for Sensitive Eyes
Physicians Formula Mascara

I have super sensitive eyes and I really struggle with eye makeup. I absolutely love having mascara, eye liner, and eye shadow on, but my eyes are so sensitive that it's hard. But finding a hypoallergenic mascara is helpful, because it doesn't sting as much if it gets in my eyes. I also really love the applicator brush on PF mascaras.

Favorite Nail Polish
Wet n' Wild 1 Step Gel Polish

Wet n' Wild gel polish is the best nail polish I've ever used. I like it better than Essie or OPI, even though it's basically half the price of those brands. It stays on longer and it's brush is better. I highly recommend trying it!

There you have it, friends! I hope you end up trying and loving some of these products! In the meantime, comment below and tell me about a product that you've been loving lately! I'm always up for recommendations!

11 Products You'll Love: Coffee, Tea, Makeup, and Healthy Snacks

Why We Can Come To God With Confidence

Friday, February 9, 2018 No comments

If I'm honest, prayer is hard for me. It's hard on a few different levels. On one level, it has to do with the anxiety and OCD that I struggle with. But on another level, I often find myself feeling that either 1.) I need to fix myself  before I approach God, or 2.) that God can't relate to my struggle and that He won't have compassion on me. Both of these things are lies, and deep down, I know that. But sometimes, we all need a bit of a reminder, right?

My reminder came when I was at a women's bible study a few days ago. It came from Hebrews 4:4-16 and the discussion that followed.

"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."Hebrews 4:14-16

Honestly though, can Jesus relate to our struggles, really? He is God, so wouldn't he  be able to just "go through it all" without feeling the real pain of everything he suffered? These are questions our bible study leader addressed, and they are questions I've definitely asked myself more than once. But the truth is that though Jesus could have skated through his earthly life, only feeling what he wanted to feel and only experiencing the good parts of life, that just isn't what happened.

Ways That Jesus Experienced Hardships

Jesus was mocked/ridiculed (Matthew 27:27-31).

Jesus was misunderstood by his disciples (Mark 8:14-21).

Jesus was misunderstood by the world around him (Mark 14:53-65).

Jesus knew what true starvation felt like (Matthew 4:1-4).

Jesus knew what sorrow felt like (John 11:28-37).

Those examples are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Jesus experienced and what he understands, but you get the point. Jesus can sympathize with me, and that is a beautiful thing. However, going to God with confidence is more than just knowing that Jesus can relate. There's more to it than that. 

Come boldly and confidently to God. He gives us grace and mercy through Jesus. #faith #Christianity #biblestudy


There are two parts to this. Yes, Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because he went through what we've gone through (and then some). However, Jesus is also divine, sinless, and holy, and that's the reason he is able to save us. Had he not come to earth as a human, he wouldn't have been able to offer himself as our sacrifice, and if he had not lived a sinless life through his divine nature, he would have been a blemished, imperfect sacrifice, and it would have failed.

But because he can both relate to us and was, in fact human, yet he never sinned, Jesus is the only perfect sacrifice. He is both holy and merciful; perfect and compassionate towards our weakness. And as we stand before God- with Jesus' sacrifice and perfection being imparted to us- we can stand with confidence. He loves us. When he looks at us he no longer sees our sins. Instead, he sees the radiance of Jesus shining through us, because our sins have already been covered and paid for through Jesus' death and resurrection. 

It's hard to imagine and difficult to believe because it is such an indescribable gift, but believing in that gift is exactly what gives us the right to approach God with such confidence. How amazing is that?!

So when God says in Hebrews 4 to approach him with confidence, he means it. We don't have to fear God, fear judgement, or fear death. We are covered in the blood of Jesus, which means we are covered in his righteousness. And God was the one who wanted us to have that gift in the first place. He wants us to be able to approach him and he wants us to come to him with confidence, ready to receive his grace and his mercy. He is a great, great God.

So from now on, when we pray, let's remember the confidence that God intends for us to have. Let's remember to come boldly, ready to receive his grace and mercy, and lets give thanks for the perfect Savior who made it all possible.

We can come to God and approach Him with confidence, thanks to Jesus! #faith #biblestudy #Christianity

This post is in collaboration with Blogging Through The Bible: A link-up all about getting into God's word and building community. You can find the linkup at The Speckled Goat.

Why You Should Read the Bible- Entering His Rest

Monday, February 5, 2018 No comments

If you've been around these parts for a while, you've seen that every year one of my goals is to get into God's word more. I usually fail. Big time. I want to be spending way more time then I do with God, but I always prioritize less important things instead. And lets be honest: nothing is more important than God, so anything we prioritize over Him is putting something less important in His place.

I have been working towards doing better with this, and I feel that I've made tiny improvements. But tiny isn't enough for me. And apparently, tiny isn't enough for Ally of The Speckled Goat either!

Ally has created the Blogging Through the Bible link-up. It's all about getting in God's word, staying accountable, and forming community. So, for at least through the month of February (possibly longer), every Friday I will post a devotional-style post on a verse or passage from my book of choice: Hebrews.

If you caught my post on my phrase of the year, then you know how much I've been enjoying the Hebrews women's bible study I've been attending, and I'm excited to share what I've been learning.

So today, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy as I share why it's important to stay in God's word throughout the year.

Why you should read the bible throughout the year & how that helps you enter God's rest. #faith #bible #Christianity

"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from His works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall into the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two -edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:9-13 (ESV)

According to this passage, entering God's rest is so important. And while Christians will one day enter God's ultimate rest (Heaven), we can also find rest while we are here on earth. 

But resting on earth- real rest- has nothing to do with a good book, Netflix, a bubble bath, or any other self-care act you could add to that list. Because even though those things are good in moderation, the only true rest we find on earth is in the presence of Jesus. 

Community with God

God's rest is the only thing that is sufficient and it's the only thing that will give us joy, peace, or hope when we feel like we just can't catch a break, or when we feel like the world just won't slow down so that we can finish all that needs doing in a day.

God's rest is found in coming to him, talking to him, and gazing at him through his word. And when we do that, our focus shifts and we can face the day- the crazy, zooming, task-filled day- with a renewed perspective.

The word of God is just that: God's words to us. When we read it, we are communing with God, and I feel like that's probably the biggest benefit of spending time in scripture. But the passage also suggests that there are other benefits to reading the Bible.

Testing and Changing

When the passage talks about being able to pierce through joints and marrow, or soul and spirit, and that it's sharper than any two-edged sword, what it's saying is that it has the power to change us, to break through our toughest areas, and transform us from the inside out.

God will use his word to test our motives, to point out whats wrong in our lives, and to challenge us to do better. However, I'd like to mention (and we will talk more about this in the next post), that if you jump down to verse 16 of the chapter, we find that we can come to God in confidence, through Jesus, and he will give us grace and mercy. That is such a comfort, because I know my own sinful heart, and I know that there's a lot that could stand to be corrected. Praise God for his grace!

My hope today is that you will join me in entering into God's rest here on earth. We may not have made it to the ultimate rest yet, but we have the opportunity to retreat to God's rest, and that is a privilege. We need to take advantage of it!

Why you should actually read the bible. #bible #scripture #faith

What is Real Authenticity? 3 Traits of an Authentic Person

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 No comments

Authenticity is a huge buzz word these days. And despite the fact that I believe in being authentic (I even have a post about authenticity in blogging), I have become really tired of the word.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the fact that people want to avoid being shallow. Especially in the blogging world, where people obsession about their social media feeds and can't function when everything isn't perfect. That gets old too- trust me! But unfortunately, when people try to avoid one thing, they often end up swinging over to an opposite extreme. And authenticity is no exception.

So what does that extreme look like? It looks like people thinking that now, they need to air every bit of dirty laundry in their lives. It looks like people trying to prove that they don't have it all together. And it looks like not only admitting that they are depressed (there's nothing wrong with that), but also making sure that their posts have a depressed or whining tone to show that their lives aren't perfect.

My co-admins over at Blog Passion Project were recently talking about all this, and that's what inspired this post. I think about these two extremes frequently, but it's thanks to them that I decided to talk about what authenticity actually is. It's one thing to know what authenticity is not, but it's another thing entirely to actually know what it is.

What Does It Mean to Be an Authentic Person? Here are 3 Traits that mark authenticity. #authentic #authenticity #faith #Christianity

Authenticity is Actually Being Yourself

If you feel good, shout it to the rooftops. There's no reason to feel guilty for your happiness. If something is wrong and you can't/shouldn't/don't feel like sharing, then don't. You don't owe the world every inch of your life. If something is wrong and it would benefit yourself and others for you to share, then get raw, real, and honest. People need that inspiration sometimes.

Don't ever choose what you do or the way you display your life out of a need to prove to the world who you are. Just speak truth, speak it well, and speak it with grace.

Authenticity says: 

"I'm sharing this to help you. I'm sharing this because it's a part of me that I cannot separate from the rest. I'm sharing pain in my life in order to challenge and inspire others- not to whine about it or seek the sympathy of others".

Authenticity says:

"I'm not sharing this particular issue because it will hurt me or others in a way that is not beneficial. I am not hiding behind a facade, but rather, I am being wise in what I share".

Authenticity says:

"I am sharing my happiness with others. I have no intention of making them feel worse about themselves. I don't want them to compare their lives to mine. I simply love this photo of myself. I love this aspect of my life. And I want to encourage others to be happy too".

Authenticity is the exact opposite of trying to prove yourself to others. Authenticity is the opposite of seeking attention just for the sake of seeking attention. Authenticity is being wise, being kind, and using our real, actual lives to bring about good and truth in the world.

Authenticity requires wisdom, because we often need to be searching our own thoughts, hearts, and intentions to make sure that what we are about to do is genuinely authentic and helpful.

That, my friends, is authenticity.

So let's stop trying to prove to the world that we have it all together by obsessing over perfect photos and posts- that's shallow. Let's stop only showing people the good parts of our lives. And let's also stop trying to prove our humanity to the world by whining, being overly-dramatic, or complaining about every problem in our lives. We know what authenticity is, and it's time we start living by actual authenticity instead of some false version of it. Be yourself, be wise, be truthful, and be helpful.

3 Traits of Real Authenticity