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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Five (5) things to consider when being authentic in public and in private.

Never be inauthentic. Always be who you are. Consider your audience. Be responsible to God, your closest family and friends first. Use your Freedom Responsibly. 

A friend of mine asked if it was okay to post a comment on my website article, sharing the comment with me privately instead. She asked if I liked to keep my public and private spaces separated. This got me thinking...

Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash

My thoughts to her question prompted this Facebook Post on my Public Page (here):

Thought: If you separate who you are publicly and who you are privately, you are bifurcating yourself. Always be who you are. If you're making a public change, it should start as a private one. Who you are at work, at home, with friends, and online should be the same. There's a place for context and audience for topics, but who you are shouldn't change.

These re-sparked thoughts I've been pondering since someone asked me to make some changes to how I present myself on Facebook before I could participate in some leadership activities with their organization. It was mentioned that we need to be "above reproach".

So I've been sitting with this idea, reading the Bible, discussing it with my counselor, and with friends. Here's the conclusion I've come to about the idea of how you present yourself... so far. Still sitting with it.

Five (5) things to consider when being authentic in public and in private:

1. You should never be a different person. It is one thing to consider your audience, it is an entirely different thing to be an actual different person. If you are one way online (feisty, mean, snarky) and another way in person (polite, giving caring), you are bifurcating (dividing) your personality. This will have huge negative payoffs over time, literally dividing your soul. You should be authentically you in all situations, alter content for context, but never become a different person. Being a different person is how we see seemingly "great" people have mighty falls. The opposite of depression is not "happiness" it is Expression. You must always strive for maximum authenticity, wholeness, full integration of your spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, and even sexual self. Fully integrated. Fully Authentic. Fully Real. Fully Expressed.

2. You should absolutely consider your audience. If you have kids as "Facebook Friends", you either need to remove them or watch what you share. Even some things that would be totally appropriate to discuss among adult Christian couples in private or at a marriage conference, do not need to be topics of discussion for younger children. Your audience matters. Start to consider who could be seeing this now and down the road years from now. Nothing disappears online.

3. Your ultimately responsible to an audience of ONE. Your Daddy (God) is your only audience. If you are satisfied that you are being responsible to Him for everything you say and do, responsible to the situational ethics He's laid out in His Word, then you are perfect regardless of what anyone says. Their opinion is irrelevant if you are sure He is satisfied. Note: Make sure you aren't ignoring his gentle nudge that they might be right. *wink wink*

4. Your second responsibility is to those closest to you. Friends, family, and the members of your household should get your absolute best. If you give everything you have outside the home (work, ministry, business) and you have nothing left to give at home (or worse, you are a cranky, mean, donkey's butt at home)... You are not being authentic. Nobody should think highly of you at work if your own family doesn't think at least as highly of you, or more at home.

5. Leveling Up requires changing your perspective about your own freedom. Romans 14 lays out the ground rules. Who you are in all situations, depends on your perspective.

     Freedom Level 1. The person who doesn't do something because they feel guilty even though it's okay is considered the weaker one according to the Bible. These are the "don't eat meats".

     Freedom Level 2. The person who does a thing freely without violating his own conscience is considered stronger. These are the "eat meats".

     Freedom Level 3. The best person is one who is free but doesn't use that freedom to make his brother stumble. How you word and use your freedom can help those who are not ready for your level of Freedom. This final level is the one who sees the Level 1 and has compassion and chooses to limit himself for the greater good. Not out of compulsion or religious duty, but out of compassionate love for the weaker one. 

I hope that gives you some things to consider. It's not about what you "should" do, it's about what your Noble Self (the heart of God inside of you) desires to do, say, and be. Being instant, in season and out of season.

Your Turn:

Comment on this post. How have you noticed yourself changing who you are in different contexts? Has it been life-giving or life-draining for you?


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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