Would You Like Sugar with That?

We all like to sugar-coat things. Sugar-coated stories, real-life events, even our relationships. We want to make it seem like our lives are perfect. We put on our “Facebook faces” for the world to see.

But that is not what God wants for our lives. He wants us to be our true, authentic selves.

I can’t think of a better,
more authentic person
than Jesus Christ.

When I was first going through the seriousness of my health problems and my first surgery was coming up, there was a lot of debate around our families if we should even share with others or not. At first I was hesitant, then part of me was like, why do I need to hide my struggles? If we call ourselves a body of believers, then we will come together in prayer and love. I want to boast about my weakness so I can share with others the victory that is Christ Jesus.

The takeaway for me is this:

a year from today, will those closest to me
see someone transformed by the Gospel?

The fruit of what He is doing in my life is the only way someone will know if my life is continually being transformed by the gospel. Often, we want people to only see all that is going right, or my way, or how perfect my life is. Social media allows this perception, but for true authenticity to work, people need to see me when I don’t have it all together, when I fall apart, and when I struggle. They need to see the transforming nature of Christ to taste the fruit.

Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but no in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed; always carrying the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. | 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Four years into marriage, and I’ve learned a ton about sacrifice, service, and love. There were always problems and fights, but I don’t share that so that you sympathize with me. I share it because I want those around us to see Christ transforming us and our marriage. I share so that others can pray for us and encourage us.

If I asked people to describe
you, would the word
sincerity make your list?

Yet, as we see, sincerity is central to the hope we find in Christ. How can they trust Him if they can’t trust you? Sincerity is our ability to live honest lives without hypocrisy, but, because we act as if we have all the answers, we often rob Christ of his glory, because others see a finished product—instead of a work in progress.

Jesus didn’t have to sugar-coat his life. He came down to earth as a human so we could see the true gospel being lived out. Jesus allowed the Father to affirm his identity. Jesus was focused on his Father’s business. Jesus practiced self-control. Jesus was dependent upon God. Jesus walked in humility. Jesus expressed his need for others. Jesus was zealous for the house of God. Jesus lived to serve others.

Ultimately, Jesus is the
standard for authenticity.

He defines what it means to be an individual, to be loved in God’s own community, and to offer real hope to the world. Every day, we need to let go of ourselves more and more, that Christ might be displayed in us increasingly and endlessly. When we let Jesus be the leader of our life, he brings beautiful change into our broken hearts and leads us to places far more beautiful and satisfying than we could ever imagine.

So friends, go and live authentic, imperfect, messy lives before a broken world—so that others may see Jesus redeem and transform you into His image.

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