Authentic is defined by Merriam-Webster as real or genuine: true and accurate. Recently, while traveling to Los Angeles to visit a friend, I got to participate in the favored past time of airport security. As I surrendered my personal effects to the black-abyss of the screening console, I proceeded to step into the circular x-ray machine. There, for all the security team to see was a true and accurate depiction of my body exposed. As I exited, the security officer paused for me to wait for my clearance to be processed. After, repeating this process multiple times throughout my trip, I began to think how this experience relates to our lives as Christians.
Students in today’s generation are deemed Generation Z. Research shows that this generation is characterized as being independently minded, with everyone seeming to look for something or someone that is real in his actions and beliefs. If we as Christians are not authentic in our walks with Christ, we may lose our opportunity to impact this generation with the gospel.
So many times we, especially with our southern roots, are bound in the lies of religion and condemnation. We judge others in the church according to a “social sins check-list” we observe to be morally condemning to our astute beliefs of Christian decorum. All the while, the Holy Spirit is speaking to the lives of believers to simply accept His love, therefore living by His power, surrendered to His will, and realizing all we have to do is step into His grace.
Parents of Generation Z, will you be real with your teenager? Not airing your “dirty laundry” as we like to say, but having authentic conversations about a real God, who loves them right where they are, but loves them too much to keep them there. Will we give grace when they struggle, letting the gentleness of the Lord guide our discipline? We as parents must live out our lives in an authenticity of the Spirit’s power and love, in order that the faith built in the lives of those who come after us may be on a solid foundation.
Every time we fly, the FAA exposes us to the scrutiny of the screening. However, everyday we are being watched by the youthful eyes of our children to see our walk with Jesus. Matthew 5:16 states “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (NASB). May our lives as parents be a reflection of our lives with the Father in order that those who are observing our actions, may find a faith that is authentic. May these independent thinkers turn to bold warriors for the Kingdom of God. For the sake of the Gospel – be real….for the sake of your children-be bold in your authenticity in your walk with Christ.