Who knows you? I’m not asking about the people that know your name. Who knows you? Do they know you, or the you you’d rather them see?
My name’s Sam Bowman. I’m a producer and songwriter from Dallas, Texas. My friend Xander Sallows and I just released our brand new EP, “fake strong,” in January. The title track of the EP deals with that idea- the idea that it’s hard to let ourselves be authentic around those we love most.
Over the last year, both Xander and I have wrestled with the temptation to ignore our need to let others know us. We’d rather look put together. We’d rather look in control. We’d rather look strong as we care for others around us. The problem with that is that we tend to forget how flawed we are on our own. We’re not invincible- not by a long stretch.
“Authenticity” is a buzzword in today’s culture- especially today’s Christian culture. My concern is that we might be getting confused by what it means to be authentic or vulnerable. So what is authenticity?
Authenticity is allowing others access to our lives in a transformative way. The point of authenticity isn’t just to show others the grotesque skeletons we keep in the closet- and just leave them there. It’s to let the Holy Spirit use others to clean out the closet. Spirit-led authenticity leads to Spirit-enacted heart change.
That’s just one of the reasons why God gave us the church. I don’t mean the building we visit during the AM on a Sunday. I mean the people that Jesus has saved from their sin and united to Himself. That church. God gave us each other because He, being the good Father that He is, knew we would need each other. The people around us play a huge role in sanctification, the process by which God makes His children more like Himself.
So what’s a great way for me to rob myself of the chance to let the Father mold me and shape me into the image of His Son? Make sure I look great on the outside. Never let anyone help me out of sinful patterns in my life. Never have that inconvenient conversation. Never let anyone know about that mistake. That’s how to be fake strong. And it has caused me pain.
In light of all of this, it’s such incredible news that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). We don’t need fake strength to make it in this broken and sinful world- Christ has already overcome it (John 16:33). Knowing Him is enough to sustain you and comfort you. Xander and I created this EP to encourage anyone who listens to take joy in knowing Jesus, the One who is truly strong. Friend, find your strength in Him today.