Can you imagine living in a world where everyone wants to be like Adolph Hitler or Ted Bundy? It would be a great atrocity to our world. When we think of men like Hitler and Bundy we are reminded of the grotesque wickedness they have done that impacted their world, yet we think little about the people we idolize and imitate who has caused us to stray away from our authentic selves thus minimizing the impact we can have on our “worlds.” That in itself is a great atrocity.
Everyone wants to make an impact or to make a difference, there is nothing wrong with such ambitions, however, there is something important you need to know before you can make an impact in today’s society. In order to make an impact or make a difference, you have to be authentic. You must be your truest self. Until you know who you were truly created to be you cannot make a difference in the world around you. I know this might sound strange because there are many people who have told you to do this or apply these three steps to what you are doing and you will make an impact or make a difference. Everyone who has had some experience with making a difference now wants to share with you their process of doing things. Not that I am minimizing the experience or outcome of their process or journey because I strongly believe we can learn from each other. It is quite evident in my desire to share my thoughts with you in this blog. What concerns me is that many will not consider the process he or she needs to endure in order to realize the potential of one’s true self.
The truth is pop culture and the world as we know it is like a storage box that you stuff everything in one because you can’t be bothered to sort them out and put them in their rightful places. We tag everyone with the same label and create a one size fits all solution because it is much easier to group them in one rather than taking the time and effort to learn the uniqueness of each individual. When you learn the difference between your true self and the person who culture, tradition, and experiences have taught you to be then you will be free to make the greatest impact possible.
Many of us are burdened by traditions and family responsibilities that we cannot afford the oxygen it requires to breathe something new and authentic. Family is very important to me so when I talk about family responsibilities I am not negating the importance of family. I want you to understand, however, you cannot allow what your family expects of you to hinder your potential or the discovery of your authentic self. All of us adhere to some form of tradition or family values regardless of our heritage or ethnicity, but how many of us dare question whether or not these traditions or values allows us the capacity to live authentically.
Why am I sharing this message? I am sharing this message because many of us are following labels and titles down a rabbit hole of disappointments and depression in an attempt to have some form of notoriety in our “worlds”. We follow three-step programs instead of discovering the gift that God has created us to be. While some of the programs may possess value, it is important to know how to unearth the treasure you are in order to serve your world and make a great impact.
As you continue to read, allow me to express my authenticity the only way I know how as I share with you what I have learned from the lessons of my life. Before I started writing this article my aim was to write about three ways in which to make an impact every day. As I gathered my thoughts and put my notes together I realized that I too was subconsciously walking down a rabbit hole with my approach and the reason for wanting to share my thoughts. I had to pause in my tracks as the Holy Spirit asked me, “Are you being authentic?” “Being authentic” was number three on my list of three ways I wanted to share with you on how to make an impact. As I pondered the words the Holy Spirit echoed in my heart, I discovered, the only way to truly make an impact is if I am authentic in my writing and my desire to share my thoughts. I have been writing all my life, but professionally for almost twenty years. Ever since I can remember writing has always been a means of communicating and expressing my thoughts, emotions, and desires. It is the only way I know how to express myself without thinking too hard about what I need to say. Writing has been my best friend, my therapist, my teacher, my mentor, and sometimes my greatest love. So when I sit to write and share something with you I am writing not just to communicate a message but sharing a part of who I am with you. It is a form of my truest self that I am gifting to you in hopes that you may find value in the words that I have penned knowing I’m not just merely sharing empty words but words that have the power to bring life. I am sharing with you a gift that has been given to me by my heavenly Father to communicate His love, goodness, justice, mercy, grace, and faithfulness towards you and me.
The value of self. In order to be authentic, you have to see yourself through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of pop culture. Don’t allow what is popular to determine your value. You were created with everything you need and given the tools your need in order to live authentically. Before God created the first man, His creation was complete. He made provision for mankind before He created us. Genesis chapter 1: 26-31 outlined God’s intention for the authenticity of His creation of man; “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (NKJV)
The right filter. Until you are able to see yourself as God created you, you will not be able to live authentically to make an impact in your world. Seeing yourself through the filter of His word is the only way. The word of God is very clear in how God sees us. Let us take a look at what He told Jeremiah the day he discovered his destiny and purpose as a prophet of God. In the book of Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 5, God said to him, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
There is nothing about us that is hidden from God. He knows the very number of hair we have on our heads (Matthew 10:30). That’s how valuable you are to Him. King David realized this truth about who he was in God’s eyes, in Psalm chapter 139 verses 13 and 14 he states; “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” David understood His value in God’s eyes. He knew everything he was and wasn’t had to do with his worth in relation to God.
Why is authenticity important in making an impact?
Your authenticity determines your relationship with others and how others relate to you. Authenticity dictates three aspects of your life for making an impact; value, respect, and standards.
Being authentic is important because an original is always more valuable than a replica. Don’t imitate others, just be you. People will place more value on you as an individual when they notice there is something different about you. Your uniqueness will grab their attention.
A person who lives authentically will always command respect. Everyone wants and desires to be respected; however, not everyone has the ability to command respect. Most of us believe that we should demand respect. Respect demanded is not genuine. Have you ever noticed how some conversations change when a particular person walks in the room? It might very well be that the conversation does not align with the values of the person who entered the room. The value of the individual deemed the conversation inappropriate thus commanding the respect of those having a conversation.
When you live authentically your standard of living doesn’t change based on your present situation or location. Your authenticity sets the standard that governs how you relate to others.
My final thoughts. God in His infinite wisdom has allowed us the privilege of knowing how to live authentic in relation with Him, He has carried us in His heart and Spirit before time and in an appointed time expressed His authentic love towards us through His son, that we might be able to demonstrate His love towards each other.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (CBJ) Complete Jewish Bible
18 And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, 19 which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, God is making his appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, “Be reconciled to God! 21 God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”
You are as valuable to others as you see yourself. Trying to be someone other than who you were created to be is a disservice to the world around you. Don’t rob the world of knowing the person God created you to be. So next time you think about idolizing or imitating someone else, ask yourself “who am I robbing today?”
If you find this article impactful be sure to leave a comment and share it with someone. Until next time live authentically you!