In the early 90’s Dooney & Bourke purses were all the rage and these bags were well out of my minimum wage paycheck range. I’ll never forget the day my sister and I went to a local flea market booth selling knock-off bags for $25. Friends from work were talking about it and we knew we had to go. Let's just say while I knew my purchase was a fake, I wanted the people I went to church and college with to not know it. I wanted them to think I spent the $300 on the bag. I wanted them to think it was authentic. In the beginning, you really couldn’t tell the bag was a fake, but after a little wear and tear, the round logo pulled away from the side of the bag. On a real bag, that logo would have been stitched on, not glued. I had to pull the super glue out several times over two years to keep the logo from falling all the way off. While trying to be like others and carry a bag outside of my budget, I came to realize it’s important choosing to be real. Choosing to be real is important for anyone, but it’s extremely important for Christians. There are many non-Christians who claim to be a Christian and living life any old way. Then there are Christians who don’t care about changing their faults. They believe it’s a that's how I am, live with it situation. Our actions tell who we are all the time. Sometimes, it’s a good thing, while other times, it’s not. There is nothing wrong with being flawed. We have to be willing to work on changing those flaws.
Choosing to be Real
In Acts 4, there was Ananias and Sapphira a couple who wanted to be acknowledged as some one they were not. They wanted to be praised as a giving couple. They sold their land and claimed to give all the money to the church, when in fact they only gave a portion of it. Ananias and Sapphira were not required to sell their land, nor were they required to give their money. If they would have kept all their money, it would not have been a sin. Pretending to be someone they weren’t and lying about the sum of money was a sin. They did not have an authentic heart for the Lord.
Three Ways to Help in Living an Authentic Life
Choosing to Make a Choice - we have to take the first step in choosing to be real. We have to choose to be authentic. We have to choose who we will serve. Just as Joshua told the Children of Israel, “choose you this day whom you will serve.”(Joshua 24:15) We can’t serve God and self. (Matthew 24:6) We have to choose how we live.
Choosing to Make a Commitment – we can make choices left and right, but if we don’t have a commitment to them, then those choices are worthless. Joshua challenged those who said they would serve the Lord, to get rid of their idols. Joshua 24:23 The people had to act on their choice. They made a commitment.
Choosing to Make a Commemorative Reminder - we may need a little help in being reminded of why we made a choice and a commitment; so did the Children of Israel. Joshua set a memorial stone to help remind the people, they chose to live for the Lord. A reminder written in a calligraphy type font and framed or a beautiful décor item for your home are two perfect ways to remind you of your commitment of choosing to be real.
Years later, after my husband bought my first Etienne Aigner bag for Christmas, I realized how nice it was to have an authentic bag. Looking back over the experiences with both, having the real deal was amazing! After 19 years of owning the Aigner bag, I still have it and carry it occasionally. That knock-off bag, I sold it at a yard sale.
If you missed it, you can read Making Excellent Choices.