Confident Authenticity

SCRIPTURE (John 10:31-42)

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?"
The Jews answered him,
"We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God."
Jesus answered them,
"Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'? 
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? 
If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 
Many came to him and said,
"John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true."
And many there began to believe in him.

REFLECTION

Believing that Jesus was more than man, that he was man and God…the Son of God…was beyond the Jews’ comprehension. In their mind, it was blasphemous Jesus call himself the Son of God and it warranted stoning to death. Jesus, with confident authenticity, urged the Jews to “believe the works, even if you do not believe me.” Jesus was never one to need the recognition or accolades that would come with being the Son of God. He only asked that we believed the works. His capacity to be self-assured and humble at the same time contributed to the beauty of his realness.

In today’s competitive and comparison-based culture, I see more of the opposite. Often, people feel the need to recite their resumes and speak of all their achievements and accomplishments rather than letting their works speak for themselves. Having the confidence to be true to your own personality, spirit, and character will empower you to be patient until others judge your work on its own merit - not your words.

I struggle with it myself. In meetings, at work, I assert my experience. With my friends, I feel the need to tell them about how I have “been there, done that.” To my kids, I suggest my “hard knocks” schooling should be reason enough for them to listen to me. And even with my faith, I wear a crucifix around my neck and ashes on my forehead. Not that either of those symbols of my faith are bad or wrong to display, but they are hollow without the requisite works of charity and mercy. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words.” I don’t have to tell anyone I am an experienced professional, friend, or Christian if they can see it in my works.   

 
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These Lenten reflections are written by friends of 12plus1, Inc.  Discovery House, a service-based gap year experience for participants ages 18-20, will begin August 2018.  Please share this information with an individuals who may want to participate or support this new ministry.

 

QUESTIONS

  • Do you follow through on who you say you are?
  • Do you recognize and believe in the good works at play in your life?
  • What area(s) of your life would benefit from more action and less words?
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
— Margaret Thatcher

ACTION

FAST from telling others about your experience and achievements. Let your work speak for itself. 

PRAY for confident authenticity to be let your own personality, spirit, and character shine brightly.

GIVE yourself permission to believe, even when reason and pragmatism suggest otherwise.

 

AUTHOR

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Dan Burnett is an author and masterful facilitator. He holds a degree in education and has nearly 20 years of experience in workplace learning and performance. He has worked at large for-profit and non-profit organizations. Dan has been blessed with the opportunity to conduct workshops on family, faith, leadership, education, and professional development for many local organizations. Dan is married, has two children, and resides in Waukesha County.