Authentic: Being a Stand-out Christian in a Shut-Up World

I am married to my dentist. Several years ago, at a regular check-up, my dentist-husband looked at my x-rays and declared that one of my back teeth had a tiny crack in it. This news did not bring great rejoicing in my heart. I knew what it meant. The word crown became very real to me, and it was not the kind of crown that a queen would wear.

I scheduled an appointment with him for a few days later. On the appointed day, I came into the office, sat down in his chair, and submitted myself to the skillful hand of my husband. He took his drill and ground down the offending tooth to make space for a crown…a porcelain tooth that would be cemented onto the remains of my previous tooth. He measured, checked the color match, and created an impression of that area so the new crown would match and fit perfectly. Before I left the office, he fabricated a temporary crown and placed a bit of cement in the spot to hold the temporary crown in place until my permanent one was created by the dental lab.

My temporary crown looked like a real crown, and in fact, would serve several purposes: it was a place holder to keep the teeth on either side from moving; it protected the remains of the original tooth that was cracked; and it would allow me to chew on that side if I stayed away from hard or crunchy foods. But, the truth of the matter is that it was not the real thing and would never be the real thing. The key to a healthy, functioning tooth would be to go back to the dentist’s office in a couple of weeks and have the permanent porcelain crown placed in my mouth.

 

Authentic Being a Stand-Out Christian in a Shut-Up World

 

In the 2014 Religious Landscape Study performed by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of adults who describe themselves as ‘christian’ decreased dramatically from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. A Gallup poll published in late 2015 showed that 75% of Americans identified with a Christian religion. As I consider these statistics, I find it nearly impossible to square the fact that 70% of Americans identify as Christians, yet the recent presidential election was the most hateful and vitriolic in America’s history. Blistering, viscious words were hurled from voters of all stripes, including those who call themselves Christians. There is a huge disconnect, people!

A good and right question to ask ourselves is whether our talk and our walk match up.  The apostle James said that the Christians of his day were using their mouths to bless and to curse people, much like the Christians of our day. James likely shook his finger at his contemporaries and said, “This should not be.”

I agree! It should not be, but if I examine my life and heart, I find that I am guilty of sometimes walking out a type of Christianity that looks nothing like the life of Jesus. And Lord, have mercy, our world does need to see authentic Christianity. Am I a Christian who stands out as a Christ follower in a world that seeks, more and more, to shut us up? When unbelievers view my life, do they see things that draw them to Jesus or push them away?

A good question to ask right here is this: how do I know what a real-deal, stand-out Christian should look like?

What should the authentic Christian say?

How should they live?

What actions should they engage in?

 

Authentic Stand Out for IG

 

Over the next several Wednesdays we are going to delve into the profile of a true Christian, a stand-out Christian, and see if our lives measure up to the profile of a true believer in Jesus Christ. I hope you will join me.

MEDITATION MOMENT: Has there been a person or people in your life who lived out the definition of a true Christian? Would you share a bit about them in the comments?

 

Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote a marvelous little book about the things that every Christian should know. It is packed full of practical advice and plenty of Scripture to encourage your walk with Jesus. You may click on my Amazon affiliate link to check it out and purchase, should you feel led.

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  • Greg Adams

    And of course a little something extra on my favorite patient’s crown……………… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/493f85d9b68c7c83907891f8b3b2883c12fecd3bdd57b48070a7bb2175be9fdd.jpg

    • Yep, I’ve been marked by my dentist! The heart that you engraved on my crown was a totally surprise. I love you!

  • Jerri Miller

    Being authentic is so important because believer’s represent Christ to the world. Everything we do reflects on Him. What a sobering yet awesome responsibility … I’m looking forward to your future posts on this topic.

    Thanks for sharing at The Loft, Leah! ~ Jerralea

    P.S. I never heard of a heart-engraved crown before. How special!

    • Jerralea, I really feel like this Authentic series is from the Lord. We live in a day when people are watering down Christianity, and the people of God need to be acting like Christians. I’m so glad I could link this post at The Loft this week. I know you and Chris will do a great job with The Loft. Have a lovely weekend.

  • This is not a coincidence! I am looking forward to these Wednesday posts – authentic! Indeed! You said to me about ten days ago: “Keep listening, my friend, He will give you your word in due time.”
    On the same day you posted Authentic: Being a Stand-out Christian in a Shut-Up World, (yesterday), I posted my word: authentic. Imagine my thrill when I opened your post TODAY to read Authentic! As I said I am looking forward to this!
    Who in my life has been authentic? Up close – the Pastor who labored to birth me into The Kingdom of God. It was a struggle but he did not give up. He has now been with JESUS since 1985. I treasure his authenticity still!
    Closer in Season but not having met face to face, I see authenticity in a number of women who’s blogs I read – you included my friend. Thank you. Meet you back here soon. ♥

    • Kathie! Isn’t that just awesome! I love that God used my post to confirm your OneWord for 2017! Thank you for the kind words~~I really feel like the world needs, more than ever, to see authenticity walked out in the lives of Christians. My Revelation study that I am doing on Mondays here at the blog has reminded me that the time is short. Thank you for stopping in. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Jennifer

    Agreed that our last election definitely does not reflect Christ. I am praying for our leadership in all aspects of our communities, states, and nations. And, for our leaders at home…moms and dads to show Christ to our kids so that the next generation knows the Real King.

    • Jennifer, I join you in praying for our leaders in this nation~~and for revival to come to the hearts of our people. Thank you so much for stopping in. You bless me!!

  • Wow, Leah, thank you for being brave and digging deep. I’m reminded of the scripture in 1 Timothy 4 which warns us to watch our life AND our doctrine closely and to persevere in them so that others might be saved. We’re being watched, that’s for sure. The question, like you said, is are we living up to what we claim we believe.
    Love this!
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    • Marva, my friend, you are so right. We are being watched. That watching by others is the premise for the first Bible study I wrote entitled, Legacy. Each of us are leaving a legacy, and it is up to us what that legacy looks like. Thank you for stopping in~~ you bless me.

  • This sounds like such a good study. Every time I think of someone who is a true Christian, I think of a woman named Jo. Her heart for Jesus is so huge, and that love is poured out into every aspect of her life.

    • Heather, thank you for stopping by. Jo sounds like someone I would love to meet. I hope this series will prompt many people to be like Jo. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Lona Jo

      Hi, Im new to this and my name is Jo! All this captured my eye via Pinterest and I am trying to figure out how it all works! I definitely was thrown for a loop once I saw your comment referencing someone by my name! I Thank God immediately for sending me to this link! I have read several comments and enjoy the open, honesty, and fellowship amongst Christian women! This sounds like an amazing opportunity to learn from one another and grow within our journeys as Christians!

      • Welcome, Jo! So glad you found this post. You are welcome here any time. I hope you find something here at LeahAdams.org that blesses your heart. Have a lovely weekend.

  • Authenticity is such a powerful word and to use it to describe Christians can open up a dialogue that can be difficult because of the fact that many times there is an expectation that Christians are allowed to act only a certain way. As Christ pronounced followers we are held to a higher ridicule, as is considerably understandable…but what about grace? What about the fact that we are humans changed by His entrance in our heart. Our salvation is immediate but the sanctification isn’t always, is it? I think that is where some of the disconnect happens… the fact that we forget the part of giving and receiving grace together. I am intrigued by your post, Leah… and I am pondering these things with you. In answer to your question, I really do think grace allows us to be authentic, and it allows us to be human, as well. :)
    Visiting from the Grace and Truth Link Up!
    Blessings,

    • Dawn, you offer such wonderful questions and thoughts! Our salvation is immediate, but He will be doing the work of sanctification in our hearts until we breathe our last on this dusty sod of earth. Authenticity married into our humanity should be a powerful draw to Christ for the unbeliever. It tells them that Jesus accepts us as we are, but doesn’t leave us there. Thank you for offering your thoughts here. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  • Corena

    Only God knows mans heart that’s where we all disconnect. The election reminded me of why I am made the way I am. Why my life has had the trials and upswings it has. All allowed by my Sovereign God who controls it all. Judgement called discernment by Christians, tantrums called honesty by others that’s what both the believer and unbeliever pushed forth in the 2016 election.
    I make choices and decisions often because of my own life and convictions, after prayers and answers. After wisdom and learning. I do the best I can but not because of my need to hurt others or to be mean. I chose to be quiet and not comment on hateful until I was convicted to stand up for my God given knowledge and prompting for the choice I made to elect President Trump. I still choose to not be hateful to those who berate and condemn me. But in my heart I know why I would never have chosen Hillary. God knows it and He is the only one I care about!

    • Dear Corena, you have offered great wisdom here. If we live our lives for God, and Him alone, we will make His choices and feel His approval. The 2016 election was a hot mess on all sides. It brought out the worst in some people. My continued prayer is that God will send His Spirit across our land, drawing hearts to Jesus. May we trust Him and His sovereignty in what He allows to go on in America. Thank you for stopping in.

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