The authentic life of a jerk


Can you live authentically as a jerk?

'Dr. House' appears to be authentically a jerk ... so is he living authentically as a jerk?

So many people are thinking about how to live authentically that the word “Authenticity” pops up on almost 1 in 3 WordPress blogs.

We’re thinking about what authentic living means. We’re pretty sure it’s not about what we buy, what we own, what we wear, where we live, what we drive.

We want to behave authentically in our work lives … but we already know better than to offer more than a sanitized presentation of our “personal brand” on-line or at the office. And many of us work in companies that tell us we are ambassadors of the corporate brand 24/7. So when am I to be authentically me if I’m busy being Brand X – or even Brand Me?

A number of business bloggers recommend “authenticity” as an element of every outstanding personal brand. But what if you’re authentically a jerk? What then?

The Bible has a three-fold answer. First, God already knows you’re a jerk. So you can be your authentic self in front of God, even if you’re making nice to everyone else all the rest of the livelong day.

Second, God authentically accepts and forgives all jerks. And expects the same of God’s people. So if you’re authentically a jerk, God invites you to have faith: you’re accepted and forgiven.

Finally, God urges you to work at changing so you won’t always be a jerk. “(M)ake every effort to add to your faith goodness … knowledge … self-control … perseverance … godliness … brotherly kindness … love” (2 Peter 1: 5-7). Because God knows your authentic self today – and also knows the authentic self God can help you to become.

So what’s authenticity? Continuing to be who you are today? Or admitting who you are now so you’re on solid ground as you aim to become who you’re made to be?

Christians are for: authenticity, so we stand on the truth about ourselves as we grow toward who we’re made to be.

But if that’s the case, how come we all know so many Christians who seem fake? Christians, why are we so afraid to be transparent?

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About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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