You Be You - with REAL Authenticity!

How does a Legacy Lady live Authentically according to the Bible?



Ephesians 4:11-13

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Jesus Christ gave us presents –  Gifts of service to his followers.  
The purpose of these gifts was to serve – Serve who? Building up the body of Christ, which is the worldwide Church consisting of all his followers (and those who are added as time goes by).
There is a process of becoming mature and complete individually and as a whole, worldwide church body.

PROCESS


From these verses we clearly see that there is a parallel between our physical maturity as we grow and learn with support from those around us from infancy to maturity.  

A baby needs help to eat and sit up and then stand and walk and so on.  Yet even children draw from other children and older siblings perhaps who are still at various stages of immaturity.  

We cannot wait until we are fully mature and perfect in our faith, maturity, knowledge of Christ, before beginning to use our gifts of service to support others and build them up, build us up.  Because we are connected. Whether we are talking about a local Church group, a family, a business.  The more unified and better we support one another, the better we are as a whole.  Remember the old saying “use it or lose it”!  How do we improve any skill or talent? Practice!!  So in supporting others and receiving support for ourselves we must recognize that it is all imperfect.  But as imperfect as we all are (and the support we may provide to others) it is useful and is the way God has set things up for us to support each other.

But let’s back up.  Each person, each follower of Jesus Christ has been given a spiritual gift of service especially for building up his Church. 

PRESENTS

Have you identified your spiritual gift or gifts?

There are self-tests you can take to help you identify your spiritual gifts if you’ve never done so.  It may also help to do a word search and study on the one/ones you most identify with and learn more about what that particular gift entails. Here’s the list again, but know that they are not cookie cutter identities as each person has their own ways of using their own spiritual gifts in life.

  • apostles 
  • prophets
  • evangelists
  • pastors
  • teachers

These are the ones listed in the verses I already mentioned from the verses above.  Of course this list is not a limit on God’s good gifts to his people. The following verses additionally mention

  • Serving (hospitality)
  • Encouraging
  • Giving
  • Leading
  • Mercy


We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully (Romans 12:6-8).

[See links regarding Spiritual Gifts assessment below.]


PURPOSE

The very next verse talks about the results you can expect: 
 
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 

Getting and giving support within the body of Christ results in CLARITY!!  STEADFASTNESS!! CONFIDENCE!!  
We will mature and not continue to be gullible and naive to false teachings, propaganda and deceitful messaging.  Of course we’re going to be able to be more effective!

I’ve found throughout my life that when I prepare, teach and support others, it helps me become more knowledgeable, understanding, and grounded – more able to discern and avoid false teachings and ideas, to recognize the red flags that don’t align with my own Biblically based values and principles. 

Just as you may have, I also have found that there are secondary gifts I’ve been blessed with in addition to mercy, and that’s shepherding (another name for the gift of pastor) and teaching. 
Why? Perhaps because I’m more engaged when I’m teaching others, more alert and aware of nuances when preparing.  More attentive so as to be sure to be accurate in my teaching and advice. I don’t know. 

We also need to be able to seek and receive support from others with different gifts.  No one has all the necessary gifts and as far as I can tell, they are meant to be complementary to each other. Not one of the spiritual gifts, and not one of us are meant to stand alone. 

My top spiritual gift is mercy. (Confirmed several times over through several years and with different assessments) I can tell you that there was a time when I was feeling like it was more of a curse!  I needed support.  I learned that we can operate out of the positive or the negative side of our gifts.  I cried out in prayer and the Lord gave me a specific instruction that would engage my mercy gift to the max - adopt.  Wasn’t even on my radar.  But God said it clear as a bell. This was not something I could do on my own.  You can’t do mercy on your own.  You can’t do spiritual gifts on your own.  You must get down in the mud with people, and be real.  And open yourself up to support from those who have gifts, abilities, experience, resources . . . that you don’t.  It can be a humbling experience.  

It’s also clear from these and other verses in the same chapter, chapter 4 of Ephesians, that it is talking here to followers of Jesus, Christians, those who are becoming a new, or renewed, person with a new nature and identity that’s to be different than the old nature.  It’s a process of putting off the old nature and putting on the new.  

So when we talk about authenticity and  living in alignment with our identity, which identity? The old or the new identity in Christ?  This is key when we are making decisions and choosing how we will think about this topic. 

For more information on this topic:

Here's a quote from TeamJesusMag.com in their article on 5 Keys to Finding Your Authentic Self in Jesus Christ:
“We each have our own identity and it is only found in Christ Jesus. Many times, we talk ourselves out of being who we know we should be, for fear of what others think and how they may react.”

One article I found states that: “Humility is the tree that bears the fruit of authenticity.” https://www.kennethmd.com/authenticity

And another article by Chip Ingram of Living on the Edge warns us to beware of what he calls spiritual gift abuse: 

How will you let your light of authenticity shine out through your spiritual gifts? 

I think it’s clear that living in our authentic Christian identity includes using our God-given gifts in service to his people and growing his Church.  As a Christian Legacy Lady how will you let your light of authenticity shine out through your spiritual gifts, presents that you received from our Lord Jesus Christ when you became his follower and your identity was changed?  If you aren’t yet a follower of Jesus; if you haven’t yet put on your new identity and received your spiritual gifts, I encourage you to do so and invite you to reach out to me or someone in your life to talk with you about the most important decision you can ever make.  


Click the graphic below to get 30 days of encouraging affirmations as my gift to you.  These are super short texts sent to you for 30 days. You can simply opt in for the texts only.  If you'd also like to be added to my email besties list then check the (tiny) box (under the opt-in button on the next page) and we can be email besties!












Links regarding Spiritual Gifts assessment:



As always, thanks for stopping by
Let’s choose to Live Legacy -  every day - God's way!
Dawn



0 Comments

Leave a Comment