We are preaching through our core values at Coastal Community Church right now. it’s a good reminder to me of what really drives us in our ministries and even our general decision making. Watchfulness, Authenticity, Love, Accountability. As it pertains to an upcoming message on Authenticity, I’m reminded of the following prayer written in 1969, by a man named Joseph Baylyl. It challenges me as I think about how easy it is to seem sincere when, in fact, we are not. It is more easy to play church than we want to admit. The biggest problem is that we always think it is the other person that is playing at it while we are the ones serving the Lord with sincerity. See if these words don’t speak to you as they did to me.
“Lord of reality, make me real, not plastic, synthetic—pretend—phony; an actor playing out his part—hypocrite.I don’t want to keep a prayer list, but to pray; nor to agonize to find your will, but to obey what I already know; to argue theories of inspiration, but to submit to your Word.
I don’t want to think another needs me, but I need him else I’m not complete. I don’t want to tell others how to do it, but to do it; to have to always be right, but to admit when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker, but an obstetrician; nor an involved person—a professional, but a friend.
I don’t want to be insensitive, but to hurt where other people hurt; nor to say I know how you feel, but to say God knows, and I’ll try if you’ll be patient with me, and meanwhile, I’ll be quiet.
I don’t want to scorn the clichés of others, but to mean everything I say…including this.”
Let’s be sure to be authentic and avoid insincerity at all costs. The world around us is filled with artificial substitutes for their deepest needs. Let’s be part of the army that proves to them that the church of Jesus Christ is the place to find the real answers from real people with a very real and powerful God.