Authenticity Complacent

I used to think that I was good at being authentic. And when I say used, I mean like, up until the other night on a midnight walk with my roommate. We were chatting and she basically called me out on my fear. 

You’re so scared of what people think that you’re not willing to do anything.

My defense was that I try to please people because I don’t know if they’ll stay constant and forgive me. Whereas I know God will stay constant regardless of what I do.

When I think of how I try to please people, it probably looks and sounds good. I serve extra, I give extra, I love extra. All good things. 

All despicable things though if I’ve lost my first love.

My church recently went through the 7 letters in Revelation to the 7 churches. The letter to the church in Ephesus might as well be written to me:

            “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. (Revelation 2:2-5a ESV)

Gross – I hate when I realize a sin that I am sitting comfortable in – in this case complacency.

I’ve forgotten my first love.

I want to remember it.

My first love is Christ.

Here are some of my sermon notes. You can listen to the sermon here:

Verse 2 – “I know” – full and complete knowledge
This statement of “I know” can lead to comfort, discomfort, or even fright and should lead to all three. Jesus is speaking of their works, toil, patient endurance, bearing with evil, and then their deep sin of forgetting Him – their first love.

We never want to hear Jesus say I have this against you.

I think that’s the most frightening thing to ever hear from Jesus. Yet it also brings comfort because with correction always comes grace if married with repentance.

Christ calls them to remember, repent, return, and rekindle. Remember the death of Jesus. Repentance is not one time but is a life-long disposition and is much larger than a “sorry”. Returning  to the works that they did at first all of the time – with His love as their motive, which is what they're called to rekindle with.

Duty is not what He is asking for. He wants love because that will change everything.

I want to live for Jesus in everything, not for people. I’m genuinely unsure of how to do that because I’ve gotten far too talented at pleasing people. BUT I do want to change.

Authenticity for me means being honest about this.

During the walk with my roomie, she reminded me that I need to be willing to live. I should prayerfully consider what I do, AND I need to be willing to step out and take chances in life.

I’ve stayed too safe. I’ve tried to please the people.

I want my motivation for pleasing and loving people to be out of devotion and obedience to Christ.

My first love, and most important love, is Jesus

The Jesus that offers salvation for any who repent of sin and call upon His name - that Jesus.