“The truth is: Belonging starts with acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, and imperfect.” -Brene Brown
A long long time ago, when computers had just started to be all the rage, there was this acronym WYSIWYG. It stood for What You See Is What You Get. It was used for a text editor and told the operator that whatever was on the screen would have the same result as the document they were creating. Some might recall that comedian Flip Wilson in character as Geraldine also said the same phrase What You See is What You Get to imply that there was nothing fake or put-on about her or her interactions. She was wholly authentic, and don’t you forget it! AUTHENTIC means of undisputed origin; made or done in a way that faithfully resembles the original; based on facts; accurate or reliable; genuine. To be genuine means that you are truly what or who you say you are – that you are sincere. Authenticity is almost a lost art.
BE YOURSELF! WHO ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO BE?
In John 1:43-51, Jesus was choosing His disciples. I love that they were regular authentic dudes. Here, one of them Phillip along with the other disciples is excited. He tells his friend Nathanael, “We have found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael is not at all impressed, nor does he put on any airs. He retorts, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, he said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit.” (verse 47) Deceit means concealing or misrepresenting the truth. The NLT renders it, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel – a man of complete integrity.” Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; the state of being whole and undivided; internal consistency and a lack of corruption. Jesus appreciated that Nathanael was not going to fake it, not even for the Son of God. What you see is what you get. Nathanael was refreshing, and someone Jesus wanted on His team. So Jesus gives him a supernatural word of knowledge to convince Nathanael of his Deity and invites him into a greater revelation of the mysteries of God.
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET
Wouldn’t things be so much easier if we didn’t have to worry about the unenviable pursuit of trying to read other people’s minds when they interact with us? What if there were more folks like Nathanael. who tells it like it is without fanfare, political posturing, or misaligned motives? What if it were true, like Brene Brown said, that we’d experience more of a sense of belonging if we could only be ourselves? It seems like we could weed out a lot of posers, and our lives might be a little more free and simple…that is if people can take that level of straightforward frankness…or whatever other character traits are completely us. If we were more authentic, would Jesus invite us to be a more prevalent part of His team?