“While the church served its purpose, I probably was asleep for many years. And now I’m waking up to living.” –Allison Stanley
Welcome to episode 51 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! Not to be confused with Area 51. Well, there may be a few similarities. This episode is a conversation between Susan and two of our friends, Allison Stanley and Nora Shaw. Allison has been on our show twice before, in episodes 10 and 11 and Nora joined Susan on the previous episode, 50.
The theme of freedom in last week’s episode continues in this episode as the conversation turns toward losing our own authenticity as a result of needing approval from others. The freedom to be ourselves, which is ours in Christ, is lost when we find ourselves in an environment where we compromise who we really are in order to fit in. We hide parts of our true selves for fear of losing the approval of others. This is nowhere more evident than in religious settings where the emphasis is on sameness based on one person’s or one group’s theology or doctrine.
But many of us are finding the freedom to be who we really are regardless of the opinions of others. We’re learning that fitting in is a poor substitute for belonging and true freedom is the result of being who we really are without pretense or seeking the approval of others at the expense of being who we really are. We’ve traded our authenticity for approval long enough.