Authentic is what we should be. Hypocrisy, pretensions, and other deceitful ways of living shouldn't be in the life of a Christian. After all, we were all saved from the father of lies, and now belong to the Father in whom there is no darkness at all.
But what is authenticity, really? Is it about acting according to what you truly feel inside? Or is it living according to what you think you are? Before I answer that, let's talk about some important things first.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word "authentic" means "true to one's personality, spirit, or character." It also means "made to be or look just like an original." By these definitions, we can safely say that being authentic means being "true to the original."
We need to understand that being authentic doesn't mean acting in line with how you feel. It means making your feelings follow your true identity. We need to understand that being authentic means living out the real identity that we have as people – a creation made in the image of God.
Simply put, friends, if we want to be authentic we need to live according to how God sees us, what He made us to be. The Bible tells us,
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:27)
Our identity is rooted in God. It simply follows that being authentic means living according to how He designed us, how He made us to be.
Ways to be Authentic
Now that we've established that, let's talk about how we can live authentic lives. Here are some ways how.
1) Imitate Christ
While that sounds difficult to do, we should realize that God wants that. The Bible tells us that Christ is the Firstborn, and we are to conform to His image as His followers (see Romans 8:29). Christ-likeness is the goal of being a Christian, and so we must do our best to be like Him in what we think, believe, say, or do.
2) Live in the light
Next, we are to live in the light. This simply means living with nothing to hide. No sin, no hypocrisy, no pretensions, nothing.
Ephesians 5:8-12 tells us we used to be sons and daughters of the dark, but in Christ we are children of the light. We are to live in the light, doing away with and exposing the "unfruitful works of darkness." Our real identity is that we are children of God, and we owe it to God to live like that.
3) Walk in love
Lastly, we should walk in love. First we love God above all. Second we love the people around us: family first, then others next. Third we love our enemies. Fourth we love those who don't know. We do this because our God is love (see 1 John 4:8), and He loved us.
"Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)