Being authentic is something that we hear about all the time now.
Be your authentic self.
People who matter don’t mind and people who mind don’t matter.
We’ve all heard sayings like these before, and will continue to for a long time coming. It sounds nice, but how many of us actually know what this means?
All too often we hear these sayings, feel empowered, and dash out the door to start showing our true selves. We post more openly on Facebook and Instagram. We let go of our filters and say what we’re actually thinking. We dress more like we want to see ourselves… only to be met with resistance and often outright harsh judgment. Sound familiar?
We come back to the phrase “people who mind don’t matter”, but what if those people who mind matter to us? What then?
Cue the return to scrolling through Facebook. This time we learn that what we need to do is find new people to surround ourselves with. Good, great, okay, we can do that.
Now the people who matter to us are upset that we are behaving differently and have new friends. At this point, many of us decide this being authentic thing is just too much drama.
Here’s the truth, friends. Humans are finicky creatures. We seem to be always chasing the next trend. We shy away from growth because it’s uncomfortable and it hurts. It’s icky and messy and far more complicated than a Facebook meme is going to be able to convey.
And the biggest truth, we are always seeking someone’s approval. The good news is that we already have God’s approval. The bad news is that we were created to live in community, which leads us to seeking others’ approval too, and one of the biggest and most painful lessons to learn is which opinions of us matter and whether they even should matter. Just because someone is important to us doesn’t mean their opinions of us define us. Only Jesus defines us.
Do your thing.
Wear your dress (or don’t).
Post your uncensored thoughts (or don’t).
Grow your circle of community.
People will adjust over time. We just need to be strong, true to ourselves and Jesus, and keep doing life in a way that feels real, fulfilling, and honest.