And although I am not sure what authenticity is, I have started to see the opposite in a lot of different venues: pretension. Pretentious-ness. Now, this is a big word and I am far too simple minded to know the definition off the top of my head (the dictionary says that it means characterized by assumption of dignity or importance or making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious). But I think that I know it when I see it.
I find that pretension is most prevalent in men in a business setting. I was at a networking event last night that was attended by the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds and the money guys. (I was the exception.) And as I did my best to mingle, I found that most of the conversation was barely veiled bragging. The big deal that they just closed for a billion dollars with Mega-Corp. The vacation they just took when they rode the Loch Ness Monster. The new car, house, girl, etc that was simply better then yours.
And as I listened, I began to formulate in my mind what super (self) important stuff I could bring to the conversation. I got infected with the desire to be bigger and better and more significant. The true things I know about myself did not seem appropriate or impressive. And I knew that nothing I could say would survive the next guy's comments about himself.
As I was driving home I was reminded of these verses from a guy that could have boasted a lot, but chose not to:
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” I Corinthians 1:28-31
That's all for now.
Soli Deo Gloria.