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The Search for Authenticity in Media By Jedd Medefind

Can You Find Authenticity in a Media Saturated World?

In a world dominated by media marketing messages, people are desperate for even a small taste of authenticity. But for all the products, personas, and personal profiles created to appear authentic, we rarely see it. When Christians share of themselves in ways that reflect the vulnerability, transparency, and forthrightness that Jesus lived, people take notice.

Beauty and Brokenness

One way to do this is speaking of both the beauty and brokenness of our lives and of the world. For example, it means that if we’re talking about something like adoption, we don’t just describe the beauty of it, but also are frank about the struggles and challenges it can involve.

Jesus never soft sold what he offered. He presented discipleship as an unparalleled opportunity — as a pearl of great price; but he also called us to count the cost. So that kind of truth telling and forthrightness — both about ourselves and the world — and whatever it is we’re offering, is bedrock to authenticity.

Identity Rooted in Grace

Having a sense of identity and value deeply rooted in grace frees us to risk true authenticity. If performance is the sole standard by which we measure lives — our lives and others’ — we will be consumed with image management. But if we believe that profligate generosity pulses at the core of the universe, we’ll feel comfortable sharing freely from both our strength and our sorrows.

Present in the Moment

Nothing is rarer and more precious in a technology-saturated world than real attentiveness. That’s giving ourselves fully to the person before us in each moment. Look at Jesus. As much as any modern celebrity he faced noise, crowds, and demands; yet he consistently offered his whole attention to the person in front of him. Often this included people everyone else had overlooked: the bleeding woman, blind Bartimaeus, the hated tax collector, the children his disciples viewed as a nuisance.

Seek Silence

Becoming an apprentice to Jesus in attentiveness is very difficult. It requires breaking ingrained habits. It starts with an external silence; simply being willing to stand still, stop talking, and turn away from technology for a moment. Ultimately real attentiveness flows from a deeper silence that quiets the internal noise so we can listen fully to others. That kind of silence is cultivated in time away from the crowd, in prayer and solitude, in times of Sabbath rest — being attentive first to God.

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Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, which unites respected Christian organizations and a national network of churches to ignite and equip Christians to “defend the cause of the fatherless” through adoption, foster care, and global orphan ministry.

 

Enjoy the Winter Edition of Outcomes Magazine!

Be sure to check out the article by Jedd Medefind, Contagious Calm.

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