Being authentic. It's one of today's mantras for life. The world says that being authentic means being true to yourself. Being real. "I need to FIND myself." Being whomever YOU want to be. Saying whatever the heck pops into your head. Wearing whatever you want to wear. It's all about you.
To us, as believers, being authentic means being who God has called us to be, instead of who we want to be or who the world wants us to be. When we give our life to Jesus, our life is no longer our own. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price." Now, some people might think that sounds really unattractive. 'We've been bought?! Like slaves?!' Yet before we were bought by God, we were slaves as well--to a much different master. Romans 6:16 says that we are slaves to whatever we obey, whether it be slaves to sin or slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." I would much rather be a slave to righteousness and take God's free gift.
If we're doing whatever we want to do with no consideration for what God wants, we're not being authentic. We might think we're being true to ourselves--being who we're "meant" to be--but we're not being who God meant us to be. It's kind of like if I started dressing up like Batman everyday. I could go around all day, saying, "This is who I really am! I feel so free because I'm being who I'm supposed to be. This is the real me." Everyone else realizes it's just a costume, just a cover up. It's not authentic at all. That's why there are all these people going around dressing alike, acting alike, talking alike. They think they're being authentic, but they are really just being like everyone else.
God hasn't called us to be like everyone else. He's called us to be different. As believers, we're still unique from each other. We all have different gifts, different personalities. He made us that way. What counts is that we use what He has given us for the kingdom of God. And THAT is being authentic--taking all the things He has given you and using them for His glory. Being exactly who He's created you to be. The way we dress, the way we talk to others, the things we say, the music we listen to, the things we watch, what we spend our money on, where we spend most of our time....it all matters. And since your authentic self is found in Christ (Philippians 3:8-9), you won't find it unless you spend time with Him and get to know Him. Only when you find yourself in Him will you be real. Only then can we be authentic.