A summary of the issue of authenticity is this: Man’s fall birthed fear (of judgment and punishment). Fear results in the putting on of masks (the first mask was made of fig leaves (Gen 3:7)). Masks result in the loss of authenticity. The loss of authenticity causes misrepresentation of truth. Such misrepresentations naturally increase misunderstandings and feeds the fear cycle.
The death of Jesus for sinful Man solves this problem from the very root. This act was accomplished out of God’s love and those who understand and express this love have no fear (1 John 4:18). A community that understand and express this love will naturally be authentic in their relationships with each other.
We know that it is impossible for men and women to produce this type of love. It is only in Christ, abided by His Word that we can understand and express this love. Illumined by the Spirit, we see and understand people (ourselves included) and situations as Christ see them, through lenses of love. Empowered by the Spirit, we speak to people and act on situations with a hope of a glorious future in our hearts.
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Open my mind, that I may read
More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead.
Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
How can we work with God for this illumination and empowerment towards love and authenticity? The refrain of this hymn tells us how:
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, ears, mind and heart, illumine me,
By Ong Kiat Hoe, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 19 November 2017)