Keep it Right, Keep it Real
1 Peter 3:4; “but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” I usually don’t start my blogs with a passage from scripture outright; but there was something so compelling, truthful and eloquent about this example that I could not help myself. I’m no biblical scholar or a theologian but, if you read the full chapter and verses linked to this passage, I believe in my humblest of opinions, that St. Peter is calling for a faith life that is more on the unassuming, low profile, non- ostentatious side; something very simple and wholly authentic.
Or/and he is encouraging us to live humble, honest lives where actions speak louder than words, where your character is determined by the way you treat yourself and others; a life story that is rich in authentic examples of kindness and integrity. I think St. Peter wants us to keep it real.
Perhaps the ultimate question is what really matters; what is the true and right substance of life; the agents of beauty, grace, meaning and purpose; what makes our lives count on an authentic level?
Your Words is Your Bond
You don’t own self help and spirituality books with my name on it; I have nothing on the best seller list or even something to offer you online; I have no product, brand or service that attests to some higher level of achievement you may or may not be working for. And even if I did, it does not mean what works for me works for you.
But what I do swear by and will swear by today and at least for this article is what works for me on a personal and professional level- honesty, commitment and dependability. I believe if I am authentic, if I keep it real on any serious level and God is the final and true judge of this, it is because on some basic, relatable, authentic level, I can be trusted, I am honest, loyal and dependable; at least I hope as that is what I am working so hard to accomplish as a son of God.
Before I return to the lord and live in eternal peace with him and all the angels and saints, I hope that when others around me associate anything to my name and character it is the fond memory of an example of how I brought them peace of mind and hope by some random or meditated word or action. Do I bring people some sense of courage, optimism, relief, joy and ease when they speak and relate/interact with me. Do I serve them well-with authentic intention and thoughtfulness? Do they feel attended to and appreciated as humans whatever the context is that brings us together?
Can I be counted on? Will and do I work for you with a sense of conviction, loyalty and sincerity whatever it is we are engaged in? Have I, will I and do I really have your back-do I treat you right; do you believe the golden rule is fully integrated and at the nucleus of our relationship; does it nourish and influence on a substantial level, the way we take care of each other?
The Ultimate Compliment
I have absolutely phenomenal wife, kids, family and friends-I adore being a family man. I think my job is cool and I love engaging in ministry related projects for my community and writing this blog. I have a lot to be grateful for and I hope I serve my inner circles and community in God honoring, authentic and impactful ways. From what I see and judge, so far, so good but once again, God has the final word on all of this.
Oddly enough, when I think of an example of how I may have on some small level, accomplished or illustrated anything I have discussed in this blog so far, I go back over 20 years to a moment I shared with the “boys”, one late Friday night after more than a few beers. Perhaps it may have been the beer talking but then again, many people say that we become unhindered and authentic in booze induced altered states; but whatever the case, something was said that stayed with me until now.
We were engaged in a silly, almost immature but still remotely compelling discussion of if we would allow or accept our siblings to date our close friends; more specifically and fundamentally, would you allow your sister to date a close or even best friend. Being men of our age and honoring the sacred duty of taking care of the female members of our immediate circles whether or not we actually had any, I remember all of us saying that this was a faux pas; that the sister was off limits even to the trusted best friend: It was a moral boundary that could not be crossed. Period.
Until my nearest and dearest friend made one, unique exception and confession that was unexpected and radically stunning; “no, I take that back, I would be ok with Adam dating my sister, no one else.”
I remember being speechless and overwhelmed with gratitude and honor. I also was lacking balance due to my blood alcohol level but whatever the case, that hit me like a ton of bricks. I just stood there looking down at the ground, humbled and asking myself; do we have any vodka and what did I do to deserve such regard and trust? Why me? Why do I rise above the exception or why do I get to break with something so sacred?
What makes me so special that you would put someone you love and care for so deeply in my hands and care and more importantly, trust that I will love and treat them as they should; with dignity and respect? I don’t remember getting an answer that night (nor do I remember much more in general when it comes to that evening) or anytime after.
It does not matter. What does matter is and what I hope is that my dear and best friend still feels the same way and always will. I pray by the grace of God that this authentic trust maintains until I breathe my last and beyond; that it always remains “quiet and precious” in God’s eyes primarily and in the eyes of all those I love dearly.
I have heard some say, I hope I don’t die being a douche bag; in more Christian terms, I not only hope but push myself to be more determined in never ceasing the work needed in the pursuit of the authentic life. Let’s keep being passionate about keeping it real in Christ.
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