Written by Natalee Henry
Can you imagine living in a world where everyone wants to be like Adolph Hitler or Ted Bundy? It would be a great atrocity to our world. When we think of men like Hitler and Bundy we are reminded of the grotesque wickedness they have done that impacted their world, yet we think little about the people we idolize and imitate who has caused us to stray away from our authentic selves thus minimizing the impact we can have on our “worlds.” That in itself is a great atrocity.
Everyone wants to make an impact or to make a difference, there is nothing wrong with such ambitions, however, there is something important you need to know before you can make an impact in today’s society. In order to make an impact or make a difference, you have to be authentic. You must be your truest self. Until you know who you were truly created to be you cannot make a difference in the world around you. I know this might sound strange because there are many people who have told you to do this or apply these three steps to what you are doing and you will make an impact or make a difference. Everyone who has had some experience with making a difference now wants to share with you their process of doing things. Not that I am minimizing the experience or outcome of their process or journey because I strongly believe we can learn from each other. It is quite evident in my desire to share my thoughts with you in this blog. What concerns me is that many will not consider the process he or she needs to endure in order to realize the potential of one’s true self.
The truth is pop culture and the world as we know it is like a storage box that you stuff everything in one because you can’t be bothered to sort them out and put them in their rightful places. We tag everyone with the same label and create a one size fits all solution because it is much easier to group them in one rather than taking the time and effort to learn the uniqueness of each individual. When you learn the difference between your true self and the person who culture, tradition, and experiences have taught you to be then you will be free to make the greatest impact possible.
Many of us are burdened by traditions and family responsibilities that we cannot afford the oxygen it requires to breathe something new and authentic. Family is very important to me so when I talk about family responsibilities I am not negating the importance of family. I want you to understand, however, you cannot allow what your family expects of you to hinder your potential or the discovery of your authentic self. All of us adhere to some form of tradition or family values regardless of our heritage or ethnicity, but how many of us dare question whether or not these traditions or values allows us the capacity to live authentically.
Why am I sharing this message? I am sharing this message because many of us are following labels and titles down a rabbit hole of disappointments and depression in an attempt to have some form of notoriety in our “worlds”. We follow three-step programs instead of discovering the gift that God has created us to be. While some of the programs may possess value, it is important to know how to unearth the treasure you are in order to serve your world and make a great impact.
As you continue to read, allow me to express my authenticity the only way I know how as I share with you what I have learned from the lessons of my life. Before I started writing this article my aim was to write about three ways in which to make an impact every day. As I gathered my thoughts and put my notes together I realized that I too was subconsciously walking down a rabbit hole with my approach and the reason for wanting to share my thoughts. I had to pause in my tracks as the Holy Spirit asked me, “Are you being authentic?” "Being authentic” was number three on my list of three ways I wanted to share with you on how to make an impact. As I pondered the words the Holy Spirit echoed in my heart, I discovered, the only way to truly make an impact is if I am authentic in my writing and my desire to share my thoughts. I have been writing all my life, but professionally for almost twenty years. Ever since I can remember writing has always been a means of communicating and expressing my thoughts, emotions, and desires. It is the only way I know how to express myself without thinking too hard about what I need to say. Writing has been my best friend, my therapist, my teacher, my mentor, and sometimes my greatest love. So when I sit to write and share something with you I am writing not just to communicate a message but sharing a part of who I am with you. It is a form of my truest self that I am gifting to you in hopes that you may find value in the words that I have penned knowing I’m not just merely sharing empty words but words that have the power to bring life. I am sharing with you a gift that has been given to me by my heavenly Father to communicate His love, goodness, justice, mercy, grace, and faithfulness towards you and me.
The value of self. In order to be authentic, you have to see yourself through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of pop culture. Don’t allow what is popular to determine your value. You were created with everything you need and given the tools your need in order to live authentically. Before God created the first man, His creation was complete. He made provision for mankind before He created us. Genesis chapter 1: 26-31 outlined God’s intention for the authenticity of His creation of man; “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (NKJV)
The right filter. Until you are able to see yourself as God created you, you will not be able to live authentically to make an impact in your world. Seeing yourself through the filter of His word is the only way. The word of God is very clear in how God sees us. Let us take a look at what He told Jeremiah the day he discovered his destiny and purpose as a prophet of God. In the book of Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 5, God said to him, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
There is nothing about us that is hidden from God. He knows the very number of hair we have on our heads (Matthew 10:30). That’s how valuable you are to Him. King David realized this truth about who he was in God’s eyes, in Psalm chapter 139 verses 13 and 14 he states; “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” David understood His value in God’s eyes. He knew everything he was and wasn’t had to do with his worth in relation to God.
Why is authenticity important in making an impact?
Your authenticity determines your relationship with others and how others relate to you. Authenticity dictates three aspects of your life for making an impact; value, respect, and standards.
Being authentic is important because an original is always more valuable than a replica. Don’t imitate others, just be you. People will place more value on you as an individual when they notice there is something different about you. Your uniqueness will grab their attention.
A person who lives authentically will always command respect. Everyone wants and desires to be respected; however, not everyone has the ability to command respect. Most of us believe that we should demand respect. Respect demanded is not genuine. Have you ever noticed how some conversations change when a particular person walks in the room? It might very well be that the conversation does not align with the values of the person who entered the room. The value of the individual deemed the conversation inappropriate thus commanding the respect of those having a conversation.
When you live authentically your standard of living doesn’t change based on your present situation or location. Your authenticity sets the standard that governs how you relate to others.
My final thoughts. God in His infinite wisdom has allowed us the privilege of knowing how to live authentic in relation with Him, He has carried us in His heart and Spirit before time and in an appointed time expressed His authentic love towards us through His son, that we might be able to demonstrate His love towards each other.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (CBJ) Complete Jewish Bible
18 And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation, 19 which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, God is making his appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, “Be reconciled to God! 21 God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”
You are as valuable to others as you see yourself. Trying to be someone other than who you were created to be is a disservice to the world around you. Don’t rob the world of knowing the person God created you to be. So next time you think about idolizing or imitating someone else, ask yourself “who am I robbing today?”
If you find this article impactful be sure to leave a comment and share it with someone. Until next time live authentically you!
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Life can be disappointing sometimes but if we learn to stay focus and don't become bitter we can become successful in life. Letting go to dream again shares a message that will resonate in your heart.
Such is the position that Judah finds himself in after he made a promise to his father Jacob to return his youngest brother Benjamin safely home from their trip to Egypt.
In this week's study, I want to share with you what I learned from the actions of Judah. The narrative of this portion of Scripture (Genesis chapters 44 to 47) teaches us that sacrifice can lead to life, and that God always provides for those who are in covenant with Him.
Judah was afraid to lose his brother Benjamin because he knew how it would affect his father Jacob. Judah went before Joseph to plead his case and to have Benjamin return to his father with his other brothers. Judah humbled himself before Joseph.
He Drew Near:
Then Judah came near to him, and said, “Oh, my Lord, please let your servant speak a word in my Lord’s ears, and don’t let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even as Pharaoh. My Lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ We said to my Lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother; and his father loves him.’ You said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ We said to my Lord, ‘The boy can’t leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ You said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will see my face no more.’ Genesis 44:18-23 WEB(World English Bible)
Judah knew going home without Benjamin would cause the death of his father. He was willing to sacrifice his life so his brother could live. He was already living in guilt because of what they did to Joseph (Read Genesis 37), but he could not bear even the thought of causing the death of his father if Benjamin doesn't return home safely.
Judah did not know the man to whom he spoke was his brother Joseph because Joseph had not yet revealed himself to him or the rest of his brothers. Upon hearing Judah's pleadings for Benjamin's life and that of his father Joseph was moved with compassion to reveal himself.
The Great Reveal
It was then that Joseph told his brothers not to be afraid, it wasn't them who sold him to Egypt, but it was God at work sending him ahead of them to prepare a place for them because there have been two years of famine and there are yet another five years to come.
Genesis 45:1-8 (WEB)
Then Joseph couldn’t control himself before all those who stood before him, and he called out, “Cause everyone to go out from me!” No one else stood with him, while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 He wept aloud. The Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Does my father still live?” His brothers couldn’t answer him; for they were terrified at his presence. 4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” They came near. He said, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 Now don’t be grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are yet five years, in which there will be no plowing and no harvest. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to save you alive by a great deliverance. 8 So now it wasn’t you who sent me here, but God, and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Judah's willingness to face his fears revealed God's plan for their lives.
The hardships that Joseph experienced because of his brothers were the tools God used to prepare him for his position in Egypt. Joseph was seventeen years of age when his brothers sold him to the the Ishmaelites who then sold him to merchants from Egypt. Thirteen years later Joseph stood as second in command to Pharaoh. He was a Hebrew slaved whom God promoted as ruler in Egypt to fulfill His promise to always be with His people.
What do I have to gain:
Like Benjamin and Jacob we took have someone who was willing to sacrifice His life so we can live. He is our Joseph whom God sent to prepare the way for us to survive during times of famine. Though most of us will never experience natural famine, we will experience different kinds of famine. We will experience the famine of losing a loved one, financial struggles, loneliness, unforgiveness, abuse, and depression, among others. If we are willing to sacrifice our fears and pride we can draw near to Him and receive the gift of life.
The Bible tells us that Yeshua (Jesus) our Messiah sits at the right hand of the Father daily making intercession on our behalf (Romans 8:34). He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1). It is God's will for us to be with Him. We don't have to worry. We don't have to be afraid because God's desire is to give His children good gifts. Jesus made the sacrifice for us that we may have abundant and eternal life, all we need to do is draw near to Him in humility.
Next time you are afraid to face your fears ask yourself these questions:
1. What am I willing to sacrifice to gain life?
2. Am I in covenant with God?
3. To whom do I need to humble myself and draw near?
4. Could this be the moment that God will reveal His plan for my life?
Scriptures for Strength:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
Now we know all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 TLV (Tree of Life Version)
I look forward to hearing from my readers, please leave your thoughts on what you have just read.
Fast forward to today, about two months ago she asked me about my faith. She asked if I was a Jewish believer. I told her I am not Jewish but I have been learning about the Hebrew roots of my Christian faith from a Jewish perspective. That is when I had the opportunity to share my faith with her. It was during this conversation that she told me about her trip to Israel. She then had her daughter bring the menorah she had, it was still in the satin bag from when she bought it twenty years ago. When I looked at it I realized that it was not a regular temple menorah that has seven branches but, a special menorah for Hanukkah called the Chanukiah that has nine branches. Together we decided to celebrate Hanukkah for the first time.
As of December 8, 2020 along with her daughter we have been lighting the Chanukiah candles and praying the Hanukkah blessings. I also get to share the story of Hanukkah and how it relates to us as Christian today or we watch teaching about Hanukkah. Today is the seventh day of Hanukkah and lighting the candles has been something we look forward to each night for the past six days. Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration. It is a gift that was prepared for me twenty years ago, a love that cannot be denied.
Now before you go thinking that Hanukkah is for the Jewish people only, let me shed some “light” on why I choose to celebrate Hanukkah. The word Hanukkah in Hebrew means dedication. The celebration of Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil in the temple menorah that was only sufficient for one day but lasted for eight days. There is a principle and a message we should learn from the Hanukkah story. The reason Hanukkah is so special is not only that Judah Maccabee, his brothers, and the few men he could gather defeated the Greek-Syrian army or that the oil in the temple menorah lamp for one day lasted eight days, it proves once again that darkness always gives way to light.
The victory of Hanukkah symbolizes the preservation of God’s people during a time of spiritual and physical darkness. Before the Maccabean revolt, the people of Israel were oppressed by the self-proclaimed god Antiochus IV who outlawed Jewish observance of the Torah and their religious practices. He took over temple worship, offered pig sacrifices on the temple altar, and forced the Jews to worship Greek gods. It was a time of spiritual darkness because, during that time, there was not a prophet or priest among the people with whom God communicated. It is said that God was silent.
The celebration of Hanukkah and lighting the Chanukiah candles is not just a reminder of God’s preservation of the Jews but also a reminder to us of His love towards us. On the Chanukiah there are nine (9) candle branches. The middle candle is called the Shamash (attendant) or the servant candle. Each night the servant candle is lit first, then it is used to light the candles for each night. The Bible declares that Yeshua (Jesus) is the light of the world, John 1:1-14.
Yeshua, Himself states, I did not come to be served but to serve. He is the light that gives light to all men. As believers, we are to take the light of Yeshua to those living in this dark world without hope. You are the light of the world, and the light you now have is to bring life to those who need Him.
There is something that I want to point out that I believe is also important to learn from the Hanukkah story. Before the temple could be rededicated and brought back to its right standing as God’s house of dwelling there had to be a cleansing of the temple. The temple had to be cleansed because the profane and the holy cannot be mixed together. Although there is not a physical temple for the Spirit of God to dwell, the Bible teaches us that we (our bodies) are the temple of the LORD. However, before His Spirit can dwell in us, like the temple, there has to be a cleansing within us from sin and unrighteousness. That is why God sent His Son, Yeshua to die to restore or rededicate us back to a life with Him. John 3:16 states “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Yeshua the Servant Candle wants to set you ablaze so you can go light your world.
Would you yield yourself to Him today?
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.
As an author & Speaker she specializes in teaching leadership training & Equipping leaders for the future.
Natalee is an entrepreneur who uses her knowledge, skills, and, gifts to work with others to help them bring their “dream to reality” by providing Publishing & Design Services through her business Season Destiny LLC.