Are You Showing Your Authentic Self With God?

Can you say that you were authentic with God today? You may read that and wonder what that even means. How can we be inauthentic with God when He knows our inner thoughts so well? Is it possible to hide anything from God, or live inauthentically in His presence? Yes, you can. It’s as easy to do as being inauthentic with ourselves.

A friend messaged me this morning with a question that I was not expecting. He asked, “Do you ever just talk to God like He’s your mate at a pub? Talking to Him like He’s sitting beside you in the car? Or am I just mad?” I laughed out loud at this question because I could confidently say “YES.” I replied,

“All the time. I remind myself to talk to Him like that because He is a mate. He is a friend. He’s not some ruler standing over me that I have to say the best things to. He says come to Him as children do. He doesn’t care about the fancy language. I’ve sworn at God. I’ve said, “what the heck?” I’ve wanted to punch the air at Him. Sounds like a pub to me. At the end of the day, I think God wants us to be authentic with Him. And whatever that looks like brings Him joy. He probably even loves your sarcastic comments.”

Now, I am not saying that swearing at God is a habit of communicating that we should adopt, but truthfully it does have it’s own time and place. When life gets so hard and messy that it feels as if we are stranded on a mountain rather than wrapped in the arms of God, what else do you say? I can tell you that in a tough season, saying whatever comes to mind is easy to do. But guess what? God is okay with us expressing our emotion. I believe that He would rather us shout and scream and question and press Him for answers when the going gets tough than allow all of that confusion and struggle to build up inside of us. If we are indeed authentic, it also means that we share with God what is on our minds as a way to process and work through our thoughts, rather than only allowing God to see the pretty side of our emotions.

Have you noticed that no two people in the Bible spoke with God the same way? David praised yet asked the tough questions, Moses challenged God and His character, Jonah outrightly defied God, Peter entered into a deep friendship with Jesus but still denied knowing Him, Sarah even laughed in disbelief at the words of God. Yet, every person had a relationship with Him, and because they were authentic they could know Him intimately.

You can say that authenticity sparks intimacy; especially in how we show our authentic selves to God. If we don’t use a thesaurus in our everyday lives, why is it that we turn to one when praying to God? Why do we reserve our prayers for before bedtime or at church on Sunday’s when God is with us and listening to what we have to say from the moment we rise to the moment we rest our heads? God created us. He created our characters. He intricately wired our brains to process thoughts and conversations and designed us to be able to communicate with each other. He did not create us to be a unique reflection of Him, only for us to censor the way we express ourselves when speaking with Him.

Truthfully, if God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves- then He knows when we are being inauthentic.

Being authentic is hard, especially when we feel icky, gross, and unworthy of even speaking to God. That is where His grace comes in, however. If God wants us to go to Him with every issue, every situation, every part and parcel of who we are, He is strong enough to handle it all. He doesn’t just see it and acknowledge it, however. God wraps His arms around us and pulls us close, taking the good stuff and the bad stuff; taking the words we have spoken to Him and the ones that we are thinking but are too afraid to voice. Authenticity allows us to be vulnerable, yes. But vulnerability gives God the chance to come into our lives and move, rather than be held as far away as the walls that we have built up around our inauthentic selves will allow.

In a world where authenticity is questioned more so than ever, there needs to be greater faith in who God is and how He loves us- sarcastic comments, swear words, songs of praise and however else we choose to express ourselves. We do not need to hide who we are for fear of judgment, shame, guilt and so forth because we want to fit the “perfect” mould. When we do that, we do ourselves and God a disservice. I’m sure the Father’s heart breaks when we try to be someone we aren’t, because He made us perfectly and cannot imagine us being anyone other than ourselves.

Finding our “authentic selves” is a journey. It’s a tough one. It forces us to also be authentic with who we are but when done with God, the journey becomes more about learning our character and the character of God. Embrace whatever season you find your “self” in and reveal it to God. He won’t push you away. You may even be surprised at His response.