Couldn't Care Less: Finding my Authentic Self HN Blog
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Couldn't Care Less: Finding my Authentic Self

Couldn't Care Less: Finding my Authentic Self

 
By:  Mission Team July 13, 2021

In Mass the other day, I rolled in late, just as the Gospel was beginning, and for some dumb reason a line stuck out to me. It’s strange that I remember this because I don’t think I remember what I had for breakfast this morning, let alone what the gospel was in church, but I digress. Here is what I remember from the reading before I zoned out again:

“Jesus found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area with the sheep and oxen and flipped over their tables, he then called down fire from heaven and blew the whole temple to smithereens.”

OK, the last part wasn’t in the reading, that was just my imagination. Anyway, as I think it over I realize this gospel stuck out to me because Jesus was exercising something I really need to grow in, not being afraid to be my authentic self for the Glory of God, which sometimes might mean calling someone else out.

Now I can count the number of people I’ve yelled at in my life on one hand. All my life, I’ve struggled with communicating things. If something isn’t going my way in a discussion and I feel like I’m not being heard, then I shut down. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had four concussions or because I’ve just always hated reading, but I never had a broad vocabulary. My tagline when I was mad was “Ok, whatever, it doesn’t matter”. I would get so frustrated but just bottled it up, and then when I would get home at night, I would take it out on myself in so many different self-destructive ways. I was so scared to talk to people about what was going on in my life and how I had been hurt by them.

My life got better, or so I thought, when I started having this “Couldn’t care less” mentality. I would do whatever I wanted and kept nothing a secret. I would go out and party and everyone knew it. I felt so free not caring about what other people thought of me. For the first time in my life, I was happy. I would just let it rip and do whatever I wanted.

But at the end of the day, what I’ve come to discover was that I wasn’t actually solving anything with the party’s and letting everyone see my self-destructive habits. What was solving my problems was authenticity. The idea that everyone knew who I was and where I stood on things. I didn’t have to pretend anymore!

However, what I perceived as “authenticity”, was really just my brokenness taking control of me. You see there are two types of authenticity, there is helpful authenticity and hurtful authenticity. You can guess which one I was being. My hurtful authenticity helped no one but myself, and at the end of the day, it was just a way I took out all my pent-up aggression.

Some of you might be saying “Wait but how can Jesus be helpful authentic if in this passage He just gets triggered at these people with no warning, and how can you say that’s helpful authenticity?” Ok, let’s break it down. The man was literally chasing people out of a temple with a whip, like he’s a cowboy or something. Wow, what a guy. But I think the main thing here is that Jesus was authentic with them and didn't just blow up at them for no reason. His criticism of them was not just for their own good but out of the love of God. Later in the reading, He says “Stop making my father’s house a marketplace”. You see, bringing God into your authenticity is a game-changer.

 

For me, when I decided to be authentic, it only hurt people and caused division. But if I had taken that same energy and played the “God card”, who knows, it probably would have saved me lots of grey hairs. That’s what I think Jesus was really trying to speak to me through this Gospel. It's that I don’t have to be afraid to show how I’m feeling, but I have to remember that emotions are powerful and being authentic with your emotions requires great prudence.

So, if I’m going to just let it rip, it has to be with the intention of benefiting no one else but God. There is a classic saying, “I am third”, which means that God and others are first and second. When you are truly your authentic self, it can be as crazy or as relaxed as you want, but the one requirement is that when calling someone out or being aggressively authentic with someone, it must be for the glory of God and not for yourself. Otherwise, it is just hurtful. So be helpful, not hurtful.

I guess this blog was just a roundabout way of me rediscovering that I have to keep God first, so I won’t hurt others… Wow I’m such a theologian. If you want to learn more about the virtue of Authenticity, you can check out our blog on it: www.amazingnation.org/blog/n/authenticity 

Photo Credits:

https://unsplash.com/photos/ecH8mCm4nWk
https://unsplash.com/photos/BxHnbYyNfTg
https://unsplash.com/photos/_qADvinJi20
https://unsplash.com/photos/Zhao6F3du80
https://unsplash.com/photos/lyiKExA4zQA



About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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