George wrote on Facebook, “The tall guy in my small group talks too much!”
Helena wrote on her wall, “I wish my sister would just shut up and listen.”
“Sometimes I just want to punch my boss in the nose,” appeared from Luke.
“I wish I had my bosses job, I could do a better job than he.”
“My kids are ruining my life,” said one Mom.
“I think my daughter might be pregnant.”
At least they are authentic, right?
Being Authentic Can Be Stupid
God did created the church to help each other keep our eyes focused on Jesus!
However, no where in Scripture are we commanded to be authentic publicly. No where are we told to share all the details of our lives with everyone.
This is not to say we are to lie. Yet, people don’t need to know everything.
Let’s say I’m going through a rough patch in my life, do I need to share this on social media? No! I don’t need to. Is it an option? Absolutely! But it is not a lie to leave certain things off of Facebook.
I tell you what, I plan to leave certain aspects of my daughter’s life offline. It is not my duty or even loving to tell others about my daughter’s sin. My own parents do not need to know the sins of my daughter (See My Children are Rotten).
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets are not intended to tell the whole world your crap. This is not authenticity.
Typically, “authenticity” (if that is what we call it) is just telling people your problems. Newsflash, the world is not about you! Social media is not an outlet to tell people your problems. If you need to talk to others about what you are going through, why not talk with those in your church?
What is Authenticity?
Authenticity is being open about yourself with others. In no way should someone be fake. If you are a part of a small group, share your struggles with your small group. Be honest with your struggles. Why? Because God ordained the local church, and the church should be a safe place to confess your sins (James 4:16). The local church’s main function is to make disciples. What does this mean? This means to admit you are in need of help so the local congregation can help you fix your eyes on Jesus.
Yet even in your small group, how open should you be? There is no right answer. For one, It will take time to develop relationships with your group. And two, certain conversations should be limited to a select number of individuals/members of the same sex. If you have questions about this, please see your pastor.
Authenticity Can be Stupid
The examples show why social media is not the place to be authentic. They can get you fired. “Authenticity” can do damage to friendships. Authenticity can be sinful.
When you post on social media, do your words communicate grace to all those around you, including your children (Ephesians 4:29)?
Authenticity can be good. However, if your authenticity is self-serving it is no longer authenticity. Ask yourself before posting, “What is my intent in posting this. Is it for the good of others? Does it honor others?”
- Have you seen poor examples of authenticity?