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It’s Not What’s In The Box

November 19, 2007

This last week was my birthday. One of the things I love about birthdays are all the gift bags, colorful tissue papers and boxes. Sometimes I almost get more exited over a unique gift bag than I am about what’s inside of it.

So I was putting away all these treasures of bags and boxes when one box really stood out to me. I knew for sure I would be using this again for someone else’s Christmas gift this year. Once I decided the boxes fate I heard the old familiar statement we hear every year around the tree, “It’s not what’s in the box!” Whew! Cause I really didn’t want a box of Depends.

This got me thinking about authenticity. It’s one thing to strive for it in our own lives and it’s important too. Being genuine, real. But…how can we tell authenticity in others? Surely it’s something you look for in others, especially friends or a spouse. It’s a quality that helps me know I can trust someone. But still…how can I really know?

I’ve heard that when a Bank Teller is being trained to spot a counterfeit bill they are to actually study the real “authentic” bill over and over and over until they are familiar with every detail and aspect of it so that when a counterfeit does come along they will be able to spot it immediately. I love that! Focus on the truth so that when something false comes along you will not be fooled.

You’ve all heard before of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Have you ever been fooled by someone who you thought was real and authentic with you? How do you go about discerning other’s authenticity? What characteristics and attributes do you look for?

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    November 19, 2007 10:10 pm

    I listen for “me” language. Too much is always a bad sign.

  2. November 19, 2007 10:16 pm

    That’s good J! That’s actually something that nauseates me. Unfortunately I’m not one to NOT say something either…I need to refrain and turn off the flow!

    HAHA – that whole comment to you was “me-me-me” 😯

  3. Jason permalink
    November 19, 2007 10:35 pm

    Ok back to what I think…

  4. November 19, 2007 10:43 pm

    this is a bad sign

  5. November 19, 2007 11:01 pm

    Be true to your friends or they will be false to you…..or maybe that was your teeth….anyway…

    I 1John 4:1 them. Awesome post! Smoochie!

  6. November 19, 2007 11:05 pm

    Hey Debs! Ran around today like a mad woman…again!

    Here are those scriptures…finally!

    2 Cor 3:7-18
    Eph 2:11-18
    Hebrews 8 and 10
    Col 2:20

    Love you friend!

  7. November 19, 2007 11:07 pm

    ahhhhh thank you…ya i was shoppin with the daughter in law….fun stuff….

    Love you two…I’ll go read up!

  8. November 19, 2007 11:07 pm

    oopsies…what is it with me and word turn over lately????? I love you TOO

  9. Jason permalink
    November 19, 2007 11:10 pm

    *scrambling frantically for code book*

    Please don’t! Just be YOU…

  10. November 19, 2007 11:17 pm

    Very Funny!!! Should you want I willa splain to u?

  11. November 19, 2007 11:21 pm

    In the business world I could spot a snow job easily.

    On street I can spot a con a mile awhile.

    When it comes to women I am clueless.

    The first time I ask a girl out for a date I thought she wanted to go out with me. Then I heard her make fun of me to her friends. (crying icon)

    You women are soooo heartless. πŸ™‚

    Ed, women aren’t heartless. I “heart” YOU!
    πŸ˜€

  12. November 19, 2007 11:29 pm

    Heartless? awwwww sorry Ed, didn’t mean to give that impression…we are very caring girls…

    Oh, if men say something in another room where noone can hear them, are they still wrong?

    Yes 😯

  13. November 19, 2007 11:30 pm

    Just kidding!!!! LOL

    You know we love to pick on the guys….

  14. November 20, 2007 4:41 am

    I like unwrapping presents more than the presents themselves. Curiously I hate wrapping them.

    I don’t look for anything. I find it much simpler to assume that everyone is dishonest and untrustworthy and then I can be pleasantly surprised when (if?) I’m proven wrong.

    My problem is, is if I assume everyone is wrong I will begin believing myself of that because I already struggle with being a cynic and glass 1/2 empty girl – this would not be a good approach for me. But glad it works for you
    πŸ™‚

  15. November 20, 2007 5:03 am

    I really like this post. If we are filled with truth the lies really should be clear to us.

    I am a people watcher. I will just watch how a person acts and then process all the information and decide if they are someone I want to know. I usually can tell within 5 minutes or less, but not always.

    I love to watch people! I think it’s hilarious to watch people talk, when you can’t hear them, and fill in their words for them – HAHA – entertainment at it’s finest!

  16. Jason permalink
    November 20, 2007 6:04 am

    The white cliffs of Hover,

    “I don’t look for anything. I find it much simpler to assume that everyone is dishonest and untrustworthy and then I can be pleasantly surprised when (if?) I’m proven wrong.”

    two kinds of perspectivalists. Those who admit it and those who don’t.

  17. November 20, 2007 6:07 am

    you know, I don’t know that I can define that. for me, it’s more like a radar thing. Women’s intuition or something. It’s not very scientific, but I’m hardly ever wrong.

    Funny…hardly ever wrong…this made me laugh but I’m about the same too. There just seems to be something in my gut when something just not right. I can tell immediately!

  18. Heidi permalink
    November 20, 2007 7:22 am

    Great Post Tam,

    This will probably sound a little absurd, but recently I sent my husband to the store to get a jar of mayo. He knows the brand, we eat it ALL the time. Anyways, that was only thing he had to get. He comes in with a jar of no-name brand mayo and I asked so where is the jar of Best Foods? WE are on a budget!!! This is 50 cents cheaper.
    {My macaroni salad didn’t taste the same and even he agreed.}
    For 50 cents we could had the REAL thing. It reminds me about being authentic, If we were REALLY authentic, we would be more effective right?

    Interesting. I was just talking to a friend this weekend about certain things I will not buy that are generic. The difference is unmistakable! I’ve been so used to the “real” thing that i can spot the phony right away!

  19. November 20, 2007 7:48 am

    Tam, love this post. I love honesty from friends. When I ask a friend for their opinion, I want their honest answer, not what they think I want to hear, or what would be the “nice” thing to say, or to always agree with me. I don’t want lip service, and I don’t give lip service. I have one friend couple whom I will compliment, and they will always say “really, you really think so”, and I’m like “YES”, I wouldn’t have said so otherwise. I think sometimes my honesty gets me into a bit of trouble, because sometimes I don’t know when to just keep things to myself…If someone asks for my opinion on a matter, they’ll probably get more than they bargained for…but hey, it’ll be an honest answer.

    Oh my Kristen – I am sometimes way too honest with people! Gods Gal is my personal friend who can attest to that. And Shell, at oneDirection, can as well. Life is too dang short to beat around the bush. I’m not gonna waste your time and I expect you not to waste mine. That’s one of the things I picked up on about you from your blog that i liked so much!

  20. November 20, 2007 3:59 pm

    Hey Sweetie! I love this post…authenticity is something I strive for, and I have been duped by a fraud in the recent past (is that an oxymoron?). I learned to know my Bible, and not be so trusting of a human that I take their words for granted, and just follow along. It is nothing personal against anyone but I do check my Bible against most every one. But more than that I ask HIM if that is how it is.

    Discernment I have found to be something that we grow into, and usually the “me” concept is big in a wolf in sheeps clothing..but more than that-they seem to want to interpret God for ya, instead of pushing for a person to go to God for the answers. Am I totally confusing tonight?? I am slightly confusing myself too πŸ˜‰

    Darla, I agree! We HAVE to stand everything up to Gods word. I can’t trust the “values” or “standards” that our society has adopted for this time. There is too much gray area. Nothing concrete anymore to base anything on. No absolutes.

  21. November 20, 2007 5:32 pm

    Hi sweet, I just wanted to wish you the bestest Thanksgiving. I love you….

  22. November 20, 2007 6:00 pm

    Thought-provoking but also Fun – Great Post Tam πŸ™‚

    Kirsten – you and i might be peas in a pod πŸ™‚ – snap! lol. (oh! and even if they don’t ask for an ‘opinion’ or ‘help’ or ‘advice’ i am likely to just assume they could do with some anyways πŸ˜‰ )

    Darla – that would be a ‘tautology’ not an O-M. Frauds are very rarely genuine with us, recently or not πŸ™‚ He is asking me to also point out that Fraud is a judgement on others and we should more correctly say – ‘a person who was not being straight with me’ – or ‘i possibly misunderstood another persons intentions today/recently’ Words can so poorly express what we wished we had said huh? even when we ARE ‘on top of our game’ πŸ˜‰ (Jason is ALWAYS forever finding fault with the way i use mine! 😦 I MUST DO BETTER – I MUST DO BETTERER πŸ™‚

    Authenticity in others? maybe when we find in in ourselves we will know what we should be looking for – it will probably be a little different for all of us but One has the ‘original’ version and He’s happy to let us ‘borrow’ it if we ask Him for some.

    Those of you fluent in The Word – how about handing down some of your wisdom on the topic of Authenticity in verse form for us mere mortals who are strugglin? πŸ™‚ I can always learn from the Master πŸ™‚

    love

    Yes Love, verses would be great. I will get back to you on that…I promise!

    I like about finding authenticity in ourselves first then looking for it in others is key. It’s kind of that “Log Eye” syndrome if we just go around stamping any and everyone with an authentic or phony label if we don’t even know who we are…

  23. November 20, 2007 10:20 pm

    I’ve had a couple of nearly devastating experiences with a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

    One experience happened in my youth and almost cost me my life. The second experience happened after I had spent a few years reading God’s Word and by God’s grace I came out of that situation stronger than ever.

    I would say the way I deal with discerning authenticity is by doing what we are told to do. I pray about and test what I see and hear. I look to see if a person is the same in the spotlight and out of the spotlight. Then I check myself to make sure that I am in tuned to God’s Spirit.

    Amy, there have been people on the music team that have been one thing on stage and quite the other off stage. It was when I began recognizing this that I stared asking God to give me a better discernment of people. I think when in ministry it is vital to discern…NOT judge! I am not talking about that.

  24. November 21, 2007 12:31 am

    Struggling with this very issue. We come home in 8 days to be with family and friends and who knows what “the real world” will hold for us. I think that I have lost my compass for authenticity in the last 8 months out here. Where accountability and friendship are scarce. I think that I will be so starved for relationship that I will take whatever is offered. So dang! Who knows what the answer is. But I do think you are on to something…about being so filled to the top with the truth that you know a fake when you see it. That is my quest indeed.

    I’m so glad you’re coming home girl! I think you will fall right into a safe spot to land when you get here. I’m sure you will be surrounded with those that adore you and have missed you so much that your compass will come back all on its own when you’re around it again.

  25. November 21, 2007 6:24 am

    I missed your birthday?! *HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!* I can’t wait to go and read your hubby’s post!

    I am extremely gullible and greatly lack discernment. I am a horrible judge of character, because I believe everybody! ACK! So, I unfortunately cannot answer this question…. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

    Thank you Sandi! I had a great birthday! My mans video on his blog was simply priceless – I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!

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