To Celebrate or Not? Part 2
Note: I apologize! I only meant to make a point with yesterday’s teaser, not to intentionally be coy. I don’t really have any flabbergasting news. I was just trying to illustrate how shy we are when we do have good news – it’s hard to speak out. Kassandra illustrated this point so aptly and honestly:
If I think a praise in my life primarily resulted from my own effort (i.e. [II am] oblivious to God’s blessings), then chances are that I won’t even think about sharing it… In 2003, when I completed my part-time MBA with excellent GPAs, I wasn’t able to share the good news with my friends at that time. Why?? I thought it would be a brag and I would appear to be boasting. So, in the name of humility, I kept quiet and I didn’t even inform anyone about my graduation ceremony. Each time I looked back, I felt so sorry for myself and I felt so ashamed in front of God. He who had provided me strength to do it was being put in the background.
Anyways, to get on with my murky point…
I’ve spent months analyzing the concept of authenticity…being genuine, real, truthful. Not fake. The real deal. Everyone seems to agree it’s about being open about our flaws, but I find that even harder that being open about flaws is being quietly confident in triumphs.
When I posed the question to some readers on how they defined authenticity, the responses all seemed to include both humility and confidence. Darin responded:
[Someone who is authentic is] someone that is comfortable in their own skin, who speaks and acts with intentional purpose. They don’t really care whether you like or hate them if they are speaking or acting about something they are passionate about. They remain true to those passions and convictions no matter the public or private outcry against them.
And from Danielle:
[People who are authentic are] grounded in their true identity and live out of that identity–that is, they know they’re made in God’s image, for His purposes in this world and that they are the beloved. They are confident, able to freely love others, take risks, have peace, and exude a certain joy about life.
When Team Hoyt crosses the finish line, are your angry? Are you jealous? Or are you, as I am, sobbing with the magnitude of what they have just accomplished? Nothing is impossible with God…
When a man or a woman stands before their church and asks them to celebrate, because the day marks their fifteenth year if sobriety – are they bragging? Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Of course not – we see where they have come from, how much they have overcome. We know the backstory – the challenges and the trials and we rejoice with them. We see that they never could have come this far without God. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Danielle goes on to talk about our fear of sharing God’s work in our lives…
The ones that are struggling or who feel distant from God NEED to hear the ways God is working in people around them to be reminded that there is hope and to make them thirst for more of God in their own lives.
Speak out, friends. Shout to the hills and to everyone who will listen. Tell your stories of triumph. You inspire me. You give me hope. I need to see what God has done in you, because it helps me to see what God can do in me.
And when it’s your turn to listen – be sure to really listen. Silence the whispers of self-doubt, envy, bitterness that satan will surely use to poison your joy. Rejoice, don’t judge. Rejoice, don’t want what they have. Rejoice, because as the Father has done great things through them, so is it His desire to do great things through you.