30 Days of Authentic Living Challenge
This challenge started on FaceBook recently and I’m sharing here now. I’m so excited to get to know how you all find ways to live authentically.
The dictionary defines ‘Authentic’ as:
1. Not false or copied; genuine; real
2. Having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence.
3. Representing one’s true nature or beliefs.
This challenge is about living in alignment with our true nature, a nature that was created in the image of God (origin supported by unquestionable evidence). It’s about understanding who we are – we can’t truly live in alignment with our nature until we know our nature. It’s about making conscious choices, understanding the why of our choices and liking that why.
Each day for the next 30 days I will share one thing from my life that I think is either a good example of living authentically or a good example of not living authentically and how I might learn from that to create different outcomes in the future.
So, let’s get started!
Day 1: I am still immature in my Christian walk of faith. I had a coupon for a free journal from Life Way, but it was a kids’ journal. I got it anyway with intentions of giving it to someone that might benefit or giving it to the children’s pastor at my church. I decided to look through it to see if there was anything there that might benefit me since I still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing. Once I looked at it I decided that I would scan through it during my bible study time until I completed the book, just taking notes in my normal journal so that I can still pass the kids’ journal on after I’m finished reading it.
In the past, I would never be willing to admit that I don’t know what I’m doing and never uncover the weakness that led me to consult a kids’ journal for guidance on how to be the Christian I want to be. Now I have a lot more trust in God’s path for my life and I don’t worry as much about putting myself out there, being vulnerable and caring what others think. Now I generally only worry about what God thinks. If He thought I needed the kids’ journal, then who am I to argue. He puts things in our path to benefit us, not to harm us.
There are some things in that journal that have been so beneficial for me. They have given me insight into this current chapter of my life and given me some new perspectives on the work that I’m trying to do in the world right now. Here’s a brief example:
Last week, one of the lessons in the journal was about Jesus’ parable about the farmer who sowed seed (from Matthew chapter 13), where the farmer was sowing seed that landed on four different types of soil and the seed represents God’s truth or God’s Word. Some of the seed fell along the path and birds came and ate it up – representing people that receive God’s Word but don’t understand it. Some of the seed fell on rocky places where it sprang up quickly but when the sun came up, it was scorched and withered because the plants had not roots – representing people that receive God’s Word and accept it but when suffering comes they will turn away from it. Some of the seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plants – representing people that receive God’s Word and hear it but let other things become more important. Some of the seed fell on good soil where it produced a crop of a hundred, sixty or thirty times the seed that was sown – representing people that receive God’s Word, believe it and let it take root in their hearts and become fruitful in their lives and the lives of those around them.
As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me that my coaching practice is a like a ministry and, not to compare it to God’s Word, but this information that God has led me to might be similarly received by those that I share it with. How people receive it has nothing to do with me and I should not avoid sharing it in fear that it won’t be received or that it won’t be utilized by others. Like the seed and God’s Word, some will fall on rocky places meaning some will not understand it or will reject it. Some will accept it but will not put it into practice and let it change their lives. Some will put it into practice but will let other things push their emotional health down their list of priorities. Some will let it become part of their daily life and not only will they prosper, but the world around them, through their love, compassion and understanding possible when we’re in relationship with God and when we practice this work, will prosper as well.
How are you showing up authentically today? Or what are you struggling with that is preventing you from showing up authentically?