**All direct quotes will be in blue**
I could say I'm just posting my insights today because I was trying to help you savor the excitement of starting this new bible study. I could say that...but then I would be not be telling the truth. I would not be demonstrating authenticity at all. Of all the things I desire besides a thriving, growing, intimate relationship with God, authenticity is running a close second. Why? Because being authentic allows what God has done in me and in my life to shine through. I'd like to believe that this draws others to Christ. I'd like to believe it helps others connect to me because I'm not coming off as fake...or as Lisa would call it...a female impersonator.
I want what people see in me and experience when they are around me to be real, not like the movie set Lisa visited, where the beautiful houses were "facades with a good paint job and professionally maintained landscaping." No thank you to that.
Honestly, I miss the mark sometimes. I am sure I have "impersonated" someone I am not many times. Such as when I answer the phone in a sweet, pleasant voice as if all is well when I've just two seconds ago screamed bloody murder at one of my disobedient children. Or when someone says "Do you mind doing this or that" and I say "No, I don't mind", knowing all along 1. I don't want to and 2. All I'm going to do is complain later about "having" to do it! Despite these incidents, my heart's desire is to be authentic. That takes courage. I hope you are finding the courage to say no thank you to pretending. Just be you honey!
But how do we get there - how do we get to authenticity? Mind if I share my humble opinion? It is through our "Soul Craving." Lisa said that "women are yearning for something real. We're hungry for truth and authenticity. We crave honesty." She later says that "We want unconditional love. We desire to find purpose. We seek attention, and we crave acceptance." I have four words in answer to these cravings. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. All these cravings can be satisfied in the only One who can satisfy them all - God.
God the Father provides us with unconditional love. He speaks to us these words, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV). Conditional love cannot be everlasting! 'Nuf said.
Christ gave us a purpose - "Love each other as I have loved you. " (John 15:12, NIV). We are purposed to "go and bear fruit- fruit that will last" (John 15:16, NIV). We are also to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15, NIV). Finally we are to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30, NIV). If we truly lived all this out, we'd not have time nor inclination to attempt impersonation. And I'm talking to myself here too friends!
The Holy Spirit provides truth as we see in John 14:16-17 (NIV) where Christ said "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth."
Looking for acceptance? Remember that you are a Spirit-carrying member of "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved." (Colossians 3:12, NIV)
Finally attention- how is that craving satisfied? God says "I will never leave you not forsake you." Now ladies, that's some attention!!
As we venture further into this book and we meet the ladies we impersonate (Ms. Perfection, Ms. Happiness, Ms. Confidence and Ms. Spirituality), trying to quench those soul cravings, let's keep our eyes and hearts on Him who can quench every thirst!