I am deeply moved and challenged by a quote by Rachel Naomi Remen in her book My Grandfather’s Blessings: “When we do not live coherently with ourselves, something begins to erode in us. We may survive, but we will never be whole or fully alive. Perhaps losing integrity with yourself is the greatest stress of all, far more hurtful to us than competition, time pressure, or lack of respect. Our vitality is rooted in our integrity. When we do not live in one piece, our life force becomes divided. Becoming separated from our authentic values may weaken us.”
I recognize that I am not always whole or fully alive. I acknowledge that I do not always live “in one piece.”
How is an “authentic” life to be lived?
Sometimes I feel torn between what I want to do and what I know is right to do and good to do. Sometimes I hold back from blurting out what I think or what I feel as I exercise needed self-control. Some of these times I feel my soul weakened by being separated from my “authentic values.” Other times I end up feeling a sense of relief or even empowerment as I sense that I have responded to a higher calling.
How did Jesus live out this authentic life? How did He combine personal integrity with a depth of merciful love?
He spoke truth to the Pharisees; He threw out the moneychangers from the temple; He allowed a sinful woman to wash His feet; He washed His disciples’ feet while also warning them that they would betray Him; He wept at the tomb of His friend; He prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Somehow in all of this He lived and interacted with people genuinely.
Jesus, I don’t know how to do it in my own life, but help me to keep looking honestly at You and how You did it, and help me to keep abiding in You honestly so that Your love and integrity may grow in me.