Friday, January 31, 2014

Speaking Authenticity

I've heard several pastors bemoan the phrase "keeping it real." I suppose I cannot agree with them.

There is a truth that we need to speak in love and be quick to listen and slow to speak. But the reality of the phrase "keeping it real" is that there is a great inauthenticity about the lives of people.

It is really often how the Church's witness in the world is compromised. We often say the right things because they are the right things to say not because we mean them.

Speech reveals our heart. But often we do not like the contents of our heart so we will simply say the right thing to be accepted.

You see we have lied about our motives and intent. "Keeping it real" is actually a call for honesty as opposed to hypocrisy.

It is a statement that often the words that people say mean nothing. It is a call for meaning and truth in speech.

There may be many less than desirable results from people who speak of "keeping it real" but the principle is sound. We should mean what we say and say what we mean.

If we are frequently going through the motions to avoid saying the wrong thing in church then there are either two issues.

First there is something wrong with our heart that we cannot express our true feelings. Everyone has indwelling sin so it simply suggests that we need to improve. We all need to grow and no one gets past sin in this life.

The second is that the church may not be a safe environment where we will not be judged. This too is often the case. The reality is that often people opposed to "keeping it real" have imposed all sorts of principles which make speech quite painful.

In the end we need to be truthful and kind in both speaking and listening. Being kind in listening is especially important.

I certainly know people who I do not wish to speak to simply because my conversation will most certainly end up being repeated fifty times if anything I say is in the least bit interesting.

Obviously this is destructive to the church. As kind listeners our impulse in general should not be to share the conversations of others.

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