Thursday, August 01, 2019

Identity (#3) - Masks & Authenticity

I'm on the left
One of my seminary students, in their spiritual journal, wrote that God was speaking to them about their inauthenticity before others. They spend a lot of energy performing and acting before others, and not allowing others to see the "real them." 

A few days later, in another journal entry, God began speaking to them about their "fear of man"; i.e., the fear of what others think of them, or of what others might do to them. 

Fear of others is the root of mask-wearing inauthenticity. This is why people wear "masks," and don't let others inside of them.

The key to authentic existence is to bring one's fear of others before God and let God get his hands on this. The way God frees people of the fear of others is through his love of us, as our Father. This is what it means to say that God is perfect love, and perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

As the truth of how much and why God loves us becomes less theory and more experienced reality, authentic existence begins.

As we discover the freedom and acceptance of an unmasked relationship with God, the mask comes off.

In this book I share how a praying life strips away inauthenticity - Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.

See also Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor's The Ethics of Authenticity