My friend loves to thrift shop. And to her credit she finds some of the most amazing things for the most amazing prices! Not too long ago she showed me this designer bag that she picked up for about twenty bucks from a local thrift store. The real deal would easily be worth hundreds of dollars. Looking at the outside of the bag it looked like a designer bag. All the signatures of that designer appeared to be in place. But, I’ve been tricked before. The real tell? It was the label on the inside of the bag. The leather label stitched perfectly inside and carefully embossed with the brand name and the following note from its maker…”This is a _____ bag. It was handcrafted from the finest materials. Its superior craftsmanship and attention to detail reflect our commitment to enduring quality.”

As I looked at that label I had a thought. What makes us authentic? We can wear designer clothes and shoes, dye away the gray, every hair in place and look picture perfect. We can go to church every week, carry our Bible everywhere and utter ‘bless your heart’ to every one we see. Does that make us authentic? We’ve been fooled before, haven’t we? Maybe we’ve fooled some ourselves, along the way.

There’s no fooling when someone gets a good look inside. No way can we be perfect or live up to the expectations of others, even worse, our own demands. But we can be real. Real, authentic people own their mistakes and shortcomings. No excuses.  Authentic believers know they are loved by God and try to love others as much as others will allow. Some days may be better than others but on those not so good days they don’t fake it. They admit they are struggling and accept help when they need it.

Inside, I want to be loved and treasured, not for who I can pretend to be, but for who I really am. Flaws and all. I’m willing to bet that you are as well. The good news is the King of the Universe, our Creator, breathed life into us. Our Maker left His mark. If you look closely you’ll see it. It reads, “This is My daughter. She was handcrafted from the finest materials. The superior craftsmanship and attention to detail reflect Our commitment to enduring quality.”  His mark of authenticity is the only one that really counts. Be who He made you to be!

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”  ~ Psalm 139:14



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