Walk the Talk
An Elected Officials Update
At National Convention this past year, I had the opportunity to share a message about forgiveness. Driving home from the event, I knew I needed to work on this in my own life and thought, “Hey, I know a lot about forgiveness. This should be easy.” False. I found forgiveness to be just as difficult, if not harder. I found myself feeling guilty and ashamed. How, after sharing a message on forgiveness, could I go on not forgiving? That’s when I had to take a big step back.
God convicted me of something that I think we all struggle with: authenticity.
It’s easy to talk about authenticity but hard to BE authentic. Being authentic for you might mean practicing what you preach, or it might just be acting the same around different people in different settings. For me, the struggle is a little of both.
God calls us to be transparent, so that we can truly represent him. I can remember at a young age my mom explaining to me what being a Christian was all about. She had two sheets of paper. One was a thick, white sheet, and the other was clear. She explained that as Christians we are called to be transparent and clear. When I asked her why we must be transparent, she told me that God calls us to be like a window for him so that his light may shine through us into the world.
When writing about the one true Gospel in Galatians 1:10, Paul questioned, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Putting on masks keeps us from authentic intimacy with God, and it also keeps us from genuine relationships with other people. Instead of attempting to impress others or even God, stop–take your mask off and pursue authentic relationships.
We can’t undertake this feat on our own. Shedding our mask and becoming authentic isn’t something that happens overnight. It is vital we realize that only with God’s help can this be accomplished. One crucial step is to have real confidence in God. Often we wrongly place our trust in worldly things such as our intelligence, athletic ability, or church background. We use these to pretend that we are someone that we are not. We must place our trust in God; He is the one we need to seek. Trusting God and having an authentic and confident relationship with him is what we are called to as Christ followers.
Do not seek man’s approval; seek God’s approval. When we wear a mask, we can’t be an authentic Christian. Be like that clear piece of paper for God. Be transparent. Be who you are in Christ so that his light can shine through you.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12
Don’t just talk the walk– walk the talk and shine the light of God.
This post was written by TeenPact Representative Dillon Melvin. Dillon lives on the Florida panhandle, west of Tallahassee. He is currently serving his first term as a TeenPact Representative.