Archive for authenticity

Authentic Relationships!

Posted in apologetics, relationships with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

How many times in your life could you say that you have felt a genuine sense of oneness and unity in your relationships?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the church, there are too many people who carry with them a negative report of broken relationships and wounded souls. Yet, the church is called to be the greatest apologetic of the gospel the world has ever seen.

Why is it the Church struggles to cultivate authentic relationships at times? Let me suggest 4 reasons among others:

  1. Reality of Spiritual Warfare – We have an enemy who hates the church and all it stands for.
  2. Our Sinful Nature – When our flesh can’t get what it wants it pollutes our relationships.
  3. Pressure to Perform – Salvation by works manifests as pharisaical moralism.
  4. Busyness of life in western culture – Busyness skims through life and produces shallow relationships.

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17:1-26 has some incredible insight into the source of unity, the benefits of unity and why unity is important. We will unpack the insights in this passage over the next week.

Lead the Change!

Insecurity undermines Authenticity!

Posted in Identity with tags , , on July 19, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

All of us at one point or another in our lives suffer from insecurity. Some of us suffer from insecurity constantly and are either fed up with the impact it has on our relationships or worse yet are totally ignorant to it’s effect on the people around us.

I have suffered from insecurity from time to time and been privy to its crippling effect on my identity and well being. Insecurity undermines your authenticity as a person and compromises your confidence.

Insecurity causes you to feel awkward around others and preoccupied about people’s opinions of you. Insecurity projects onto others what you struggle with yourself and insecure people have to over-compensate for the lack they feel and this adds to the awkwardness in relational transactions.

Insecurity needs to be overcome in our lives because it can propel your life in the wrong direction and destroy all the good things God has made available for you to enjoy.

Insecurity can be overcome through your relationship with Jesus Christ. God wants you to become the person he made you to be and He will put before you opportunities that will force you to examine your motives for doing what you do. It’s in these moments that you will come face to face with whether you are being authentically you or trying to be someone you are not.

Our identity is found in Genesis 1:26-27. We are image bearers of God, created with dignity and worth. Our identity is found in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his resurrection. Jesus became our substitute to bear the penalty of death that we deserved for our sin. God’s Spirit has called us into relationship with Him and given us unique gifts and abilities to do good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

The Word of God is our standard and value we measure ourselves by, not the culture around us. The more you compare yourself to what is propagated in the media and your peers, the more you become depressed with your lot in life. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and the closer you get to Him, the more you see the life and identity of Christ in you.

Lead the Change!

Comfortable in your OWN skin!

Posted in Identity with tags , , on April 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

All of us go through a process of discovering who we are. Sometimes this can be a painful experience because we experiment with life and do things that in hindsight we wish we hadn’t. The environment we grew up in has a massive impact on our identity and the formation of our self-image. Unfortunately, even with the best upbringing there are issues that emerge that we think are normal but are in fact very destructive. All of these factors influence how we think and feel about ourselves.

Being comfortable in your own skin isn’t to become an excuse for poor behaviour or arrogance but it is about fully embracing the person God created you to be. Becoming who you are involves letting God descript you from the negative influences of your past and rescripting into you what he ultimately wanted for you when he created you (Read Psalm 139 for more clarity).

I think its tragic when people live their entire lives without fully embracing their uniqueness in God. It’s too easy in this world to project out what we think the world expects from us rather than being at peace with who we authentically are. This isn’t to become a self-flagellation exercise in navel gazing but it is an important and necessary journey that we all have to take to walk in confidence, security and authenticity.

What about you? Do you have peace in your heart about who you are or are you restless in your soul? Before you do anything else, stop and reflect on the stillness of your own soul and whether it’s in alignment with who God has created you to be.

Lead the Change!

WYSIWYG!

Posted in activate church, attitude, Intimacy with God, Spirituality with tags on August 21, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

279721111_c96e83bc3dI heard a visitor comment recently about Activate Church saying, “You do the authentic thing really well.” I took it as a compliment and a perplexing comment at the same time. I thought it was an encouraging comment because we want people to encounter real people following a real Jesus. For too long our culture has perceived a massive chasm between who Jesus is and what the Church is. The closer we get to Jesus the more this gap is decreased and the more authentic our witness is.

The way this sincere person talked about ‘authenticity’ was like ‘being real and authentic is something you do rather than something you are’. Authenticity is not a technique to win people to Christ or to appear like the ‘real thing’. Authenticity is WYSIWYG! What You See Is What You Get.

I want my personal and public presentation to be one and the same thing. People may not always agree with your perspective but at least you are being true to your convictions. Now you can be sincere and yet sincerely wrong and just because you are sincere doesn’t mean that being true to yourself is justified. All of us should be seeking to live, converse and action the truth, love and power of Jesus Christ and if something in our lives is out of alignment with Jesus, we seek His help to amend it.

Subtract the Unnecessary

Being authentic is about subtracting the unnecessary in your life. Many people add stuff into their lives and persona’s that are not needed and only cover up who they really are. Identify what stuff you have added to you that is just plain unnecessary and get rid of it. If you try and be someone else, who is going to be you?

Real means ‘Imperfect’

Being real means you will not be perfect all the time. You will make mistakes. Don’t use God’s grace as a license to justify your sinful behaviour but at the same time recognize that you are a work in progress and God is working in you more of Himself. Being real means being transparent about your failings and inadequacies and not trying to cover them up.

You can smell it

I think you can smell authenticity and its polar opposite. There is a big difference between walking into an environment where people are trying to impress you and are just paying lip service and an environment where people are genuinely interested in you. Lets be the genuine article and not something that’s a bit ‘wiffy’.

Love God and Love People (Mt 22:34-40)

Being genuine begins with loving God and loving people from your heart. Don’t try and create an impression but be the real you from the heart. God sees your heart anyway and He is not interested in you trying to keep up appearances. This very issue is why Jesus took the Pharisees to task time and time again. They were filled with the ‘airs’ and ‘graces’ of religion but lacked the substance of a close, personal and real relationship with God. 

Authenticity is not a technique to be mastered it’s a heart reality to be lived out. WYSIWYG!

Lead the Change!

Authentic Christianity!

Posted in activate church, apologetics, church, spiritual gifts, Spirituality, Theology, time management with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2809727356_feb9b8555f_mEvery serious Coke drinker knows the difference between K-Mart AC Cola and Coca Cola – the real thing. Ps 34:8 says, “Taste and see that God is good.” How people taste and see that God is good is they taste and see his followers. When people taste of you, what picture do they get of God? Do they get the real thing or a cheap imitation like AC Cola?

We’re living in a culture that celebrates image but yearns for authentic reality. We desperately want to keep up appearances but under the surface we want the real thing. When followers of Christ misrepresent Christ we are giving the world a false reality of who Christ is.

Authentic Christianity is characterized by LOVE in 3 contexts. Matt 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Unfortunately, both in the church and in the world there is a distorted picture of what love is. Love isn’t romantic feelings, warm fuzzies, avoiding issues and seeping them under the carpet because you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Biblical love is sacrificial, it’s commitment and responsibility, truth, obedience to Scripture, patient, etc (1 Cor 13 gives us a great authentic definition of love). 

Authentic Christianity expresses God’s love in 3 contexts:

Christology: The way you think about and love Christ and his gospel.

Many people have a distorted perception of who Jesus is but there are 2 dimensions of Jesus divinity that we must embrace. The incarnation of Jesus into the world (John 1:14) and the triumphant exaltation of Jesus (Rev 19:11).

Ecclesiology: The way you think about and love the Church

Rom 12:10 calls us to love one another with brotherly affection. Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” The church is not a business or a building but a community of regenerated believers who confess JC as Lord. In obedience to Scripture organize themselves under qualified leadership, gather regularly together for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and go to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and joy.

Missiology: The way you think about mission and love people in the culture

Christianity falls short if it doesn’t include love for people in the culture. Christ has called us to be missionaries to the culture and not to be simply spectators or consumers of spiritual goods and services. You cannot say you are a Christ follower and ignore the culture. Christians exist in culture to lead and love people into Jesus way of life.

Lead the Change!