Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Fake watches and ersatz purses. They were everywhere. Imitation perfumes and copy-cat colognes lined the shelves of the many stores. Vendors hawked their wares making note of the excellent prices of their "authentic" goods. Such was the scene on Canal and Broadway in Manhattan. I was there as a supervisor for a group of 44 students on a field trip to the Big Apple. The visit to Chinatown's purse peddlers and scent sellers was frustrating for me. There is something bothersome, even with the cheap prices, about knock-offs and fakes. They lack authenticity. There is something inside of us that yearns for the real deal. Inside, we long to be authentic people; people with integrity and a deep-down realness. But at our core, apart from Christ, we realize that authenticity, being who we are supposed to be, has eluded us. Jonathan Dodson touches upon this idea as he writes,
Sin stands in the way of authenticity. It is a silent, spiritual rejection of our identity in Christ. It denies judgment and grace. However, when we confess our sin in true repentance, we come to our senses in Jesus. We return to our selves. Confession of sin is a kind of repentance from being inauthentic ... Both the religious rule keeper and the confessionless rule breaker are inauthentic. They choose "sinner" over "son." The difference between the two is that the rebel avoids God while the religious person tries to impress him. One runs away from him, while the other runs past him. Instead, rebels and the religious need to run straight to God in confession of their sin and in confidence of his forgiveness. (Dodson, Jonathan K. Gospel-centered Discipleship. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 68-9)
Our authenticity, our stepping into who we really are meant to be, is only possible through the forgiveness of sin. For this, we can only turn to Christ.

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