Jubilee Culture: Authenticity
Our values are really important to us. It’s what makes Jubilee the church that it is. We have now shared posts on the blog about our Culture: Family, Honour and Courage.
Today we will look at another of our values: Authenticity.
Rob spoke on authenticity in our series on Culture.
What does it mean to have a culture of authenticity?
It means creating an atmosphere of love and acceptance where people can be honest – painfully honest sometimes – about themselves… to find in such an atmosphere the courage to be open about our strengths, imperfections and failings… to be vulnerable and to gain acceptance. To allow ourselves to be seen by another as we really are… all without fear of ridicule, shame or rejection.
At root of a culture of authenticity is a freedom from shame.
If there was no shame then people won’t feel the need to hide their struggles, problems or even sins in the same way…
Because, at the root of shame, according to Brené Brown, is the fear of disconnection. It’s the fear that you will think less of me, that you will back off me, that you will isolate me with your judgement and superior moral position. And so people hesitate to make themselves vulnerable because the need to connect and belong is so strong.
But if we don’t find safe places with one another here in the church then where can we? See if we want a culture of authenticity we will need to do battle with shame.
Being Authentic Christians
Authenticity starts with identity – knowing who I am, being honest about who I am.
Authenticity comes from being totally honest about where we have come from and the things we have done. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to know everything about us – but someone should. It keeps us grounded too.
And it should give us compassion when dealing with others because we know and have owned up to what we have done, are capable of or would have done if the circumstances had allowed or in some cases if we had been brave enough!
Authenticity finishes with identity – knowing who I am, being honest about who I am.
We have this new identity – we are sons of God, new creations, royal people and incredible potential but then there is some honest working out of this that needs to be done for the grace of God to have effect. New identity needs working out.
As sons of God we are empowered to live righteously and powerfully. When we fail to do this it is either because we have forgotten who we are and so we need to be reminded or we need to learn something new about the full extent of what God has done for us.
Often these things happen when we remove the mask and allow others to help us. Being authentic doesn’t mean we don’t have problems or mess up it just means that we’re honest about these things and look to sort things out and clean up our mess.
A culture of honour and courage
None of this is possible without the culture of honour – knowing you are honoured by others who are committed to drawing the best out of you. Or without Culture of Courage. It takes some courage to step out in authenticity. Fear of rejection or disconnection very real.
Shall we do it anyway? Do it afraid?