Links Daily Devotional

Authenticity

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious…Put into practice what you learned from me. (Philippians 4:8-9, The Message)

All golfers are unique. The question is, are we authentic in our uniqueness?

Some golfers walk fast and talk fast, so it makes sense that they would be inclined to swing the golf club quickly. Jim Furyk should never try to swing the golf club like Rory McIlroy. They were wired differently but are both successful in their authentic ways. Both know their unique strengths and weaknesses and understand their own temperaments.

The author Henri Nouwen wrote it this way: “When the imitation of Christ does not mean to live a life like Christ, but to live your life as authentically as Christ lived his, then there are many ways and forms in which a man can be a Christian.” Remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement some years ago? I think the better movement should be that we are each to be authentically ourselves as we follow Jesus. Some of us should be an eye, others an ear, and some others a foot—yet all working uniquely in unison to the good of the body.

What are your unique gifts? What is God calling you to do with these gifts? Aren’t you more authentic when you use what you have been given?

Assume for a moment that you feel God calling you to a particular place. Let’s assume that place is Timbuktu, and you really don’t want to go or feel inadequate. But God is definitely calling, and you take that step of faith and venture to Timbuktu. There you find an overwhelming pleasure in doing God’s work. You feel fulfilled and discover this is really your calling. You understand that this is how God made you, and you are authentic in doing the work God has enabled you to do. If God calls you to something, doesn’t it make sense that he will give you the joy and the competence to do what needs to be done?

C.S. Lewis captured the essence of the authentic life with these words: “All of the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it—tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest—if ever there came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself—you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt, you would say, ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’”

In being authentic, we become who God originally created us to be. The world needs what makes you come alive.  And God’s response may well echo David’s awe at God’s own work: “That’s what I had in mind when, fearfully and wonderfully, I made the original you.”

The old golf writer Bob Drum once told Golf Digest: “Do you know how many Arnold Palmer stories I wrote? Five thousand, quoting him in every one and half the time I couldn’t find him. Palmer still thinks he said all those things.” Like Palmer, we may sometimes drift into thinking that our uniqueness is our own. No mind. God will get his glory in us all the same. But when we step back, when we let him work out his wonder through us, then he will shine brightest!

Randy Wolff
October 1, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.