• Virginia Brown

Too Much Authenticity

Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Certainly, there are exceptions (e.g., the love of God, knowing Christ), but generally this rule proves true. Take the quality of “authenticity.” To be authentic—being true to oneself—entails integrity and courage. That’s all good and right, but there’s more to praiseworthy character than authenticity. In fact, it is possible the one can be authentically wrong.

My concern is that our culture emphasizes authenticity as the end-all-be-all virtue. Take this statement: “There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves.” Huh!? If you look in the Bible for a claim like this, you will come up empty handed. Scripture teaches nothing of this sort. Self-expression isn’t all that our culture cracks it up to be. In fact, too much self-expression leads down harmful paths.

Should you be authentic? Absolutely. Hypocrisy is a vice, not a virtue. Yet, ensure that you season your authenticity with other necessary virtues—like self-denial. We should only be self-expressive when what comes out is Christ-expressive. Everything else should be burned up in God’s holy fire of sanctification, even the authentic stuff.

Pastor Chance

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