Be Authentic

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. –James 1:22-25

To make a difference in your world, you have to be real. There is nothing worse than a holier-than-thou Christian who never shares his or her hurts and sorrows. I don’t know about you, but I can’t relate to perfection. Authentic people make a difference in the world.

I heard of a minister in the Midwest who was going for a walk with a soap salesman in the community who was a real skeptic toward Christianity. They were having quite an active debate while walking through the park. The businessman was getting in some good jabs at the inconsistencies of Christians.

As they were walking through the park, the soap salesman questioned the minister, “How can you say that Christianity works when even within the inner-city park you see derelicts of every kind, drugs and prostitutes? Then you have the problems of the family, war and disease, not to mention the negative problems of the world. How can you say that Christianity works? Just look around; it’s not working.”

They walked in silence for a few moments and then the minister turned to him and said, “You’re a soap salesman, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Is it good soap?”
“It’s the best soap on the market!”

The minister turned and pointed to a small child playing in the park who was covered with dirt and grime, and said, “This boy is dirty and filthy from the mud in the park; doesn’t your soap help him?”

The salesman said, “Well, you’ve got to apply the soap.”

The minister’s response was, “So it is with the Christian faith. You must apply the Christian faith in order for it to work.”

GOING DEEPER:
1. James 1:22-25 describes two courses of action a Christian can take: the first is to just listen to the word and the second is to listen to the word and do it. Which course of action do you take most in your Christian walk?

2. Is your walk as strong as your talk? In what area of your life do you need to be more authentic?

FURTHER READING:
John 13:17; James 2:12

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy live Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca and Heidi.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

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