How to Know If You’re the Real Thing (And what it means to Live Authentically)

Yes, I see it. I see that giant diamond on your hand. It’s beautiful! 

But is it real or fake?

How can you tell the difference?

God wants you to be authentic

What about you? Are you a genuine “diamond or a fake one? Are you trying to be someone or something you’re not?

Diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth. They’re also one of the most valuable.

Think about the formation of a diamond for a moment. That gem on your hand went through many phases to become something worthy of being worn. It didn’t start off that way at all.

In fact, its journey started deep below the earth’s surface, under the greatest intensity of heat and pressure. It might have formed quickly—days, weeks, months—or it could have been a gradual process over millions of years. For some diamonds growth is continuous; for others it may stop, then resume. During that process each tiny gem was exposed to many things that impacted its growth, determined its color, and hardened it to its ultimate, unbreakable strength. (1)

And then, suddenly, with violent force and explosion, that gem was torn out of its stable environment. It was thrust upwards through the volcanic chaos and trauma, to finally settle on the earth’s surface awaiting discovery. (2)

Your journey to beautiful authenticity is also filled with difficult challenges and stressors that are shaping and strengthening your character

The development of a woman’s character, much like diamond formation, often takes place under extreme circumstances. But what, exactly, is character?

Character is formed by attitudes, beliefs, actions and habits. Godly character, however, requires more.

Godly character comes from living by every word of God.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

Godly character is developed through struggle, not ease.

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10) God allows us to go through difficult, even traumatic events, because of what those events will produce in us.

It’s only when the heat is turned up high that the true test of our character emerges.

The high temperatures we feel when we are in that “furnace of affliction,” though deeply painful, are what burn away our impurities—everything that gets in the way of us being genuine. “…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” (I Peter 1:7)

Like diamonds, our growth rate is unique.

Each of us is on our own personal journey with God. He knows what you need to perfect you. He knows what I need. Comparing yourself to someone else is a waste of time. Focus on your own growth.

You are exposed to people and situations that will have a dramatic impact on your formation.

Some will help. Some will hinder. All will leave an indelible mark on you. As you grow and mature, however, you get to make choices about what environment you allow yourself to remain in.

Not everyone who says she’s a “diamond” truly is though.

How do you determine authenticity?

1. A real “diamond” has flaws

Yes, you have imperfections. You don’t need to hide them. You can’t, actually. Though those imperfections may not be easily seen, when magnified through difficult circumstances, they will become evident. So acknowledge them, first and always to God. Secondly, to yourself. And finally, in the right way, at the right time, to the right people.

2. A real “diamond” can take the heat

Have you ever gone through a very difficult, painful experience with someone, only to see that person mentally and emotionally disintegrate?

Why do some people fall apart under pressure, while others are made stronger?

Some people just can’t take the heat!

There are a lot of reasons for that:

  • Not asking God for help to endure the heat
  • Not living your core values
  • Not aligning your day-to-day intentions with your values
  • Not accepting personal responsibility for your choices
  • Blaming others for your flaws
  • Focusing on your suffering instead of looking for growth opportunities
  • Not getting effective help when you need it

To be genuine, you have to be able to endure the heat. But endurance is only part of the equation.

3. A real “diamond” conducts heat

Heat is a form of energy. Though heat is necessary in the formation of a diamond, it doesn’t hold on to it. It passes through.

Do you allow the extreme heat of suffering to pass through you, to shape and form you, then move through you? Do you use it to then help others through their own fiery trials? Or do you hold on to it, dwell on it, and let it consume you?

4. A real “diamond” glows

That sparkle on your hand, it looks beautiful. But do you know why?

It’s all about reflection, refraction and dispersion.

“Reflection is the light that hits the diamond and is immediately bounced back up, giving it an instantaneous shine. While this glimmer is impressive, it’s only the very tip of the true radiance a diamond displays.” (3) As light passes through the top of a diamond it bends, scattering and fracturing throughout. This is known as refraction, which is what causes the diamond to sparkle so brilliantly. The light then passes back out the top causing a rainbow effect of colors known as dispersion, which just intensifies the shine.

Do you glow?

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5)

The only way to glow is to let God’s light in. It is His light that must be reflected, refracted and dispersed through us. We do that when we are seeking God’s purpose in our lives. And, when we allow Him to refine us through the heat of extreme difficulties.

5. A real “diamond” has density

There’s a weight and solidness to a real diamond. Put it in a glass of water and it will sink. Not so, however, with a fake one. Fake diamonds float. There’s no substance to them. They look good, but that’s all.

Heat and pressure do add substance, however. There’s no substitute for growing godly character. You either go through the hard stuff and it strengthens you. Or you break.

A woman who is genuine lives with authenticity

Living authentically means:

Society says “Be true to yourself.” Instead, be true to God. God’s Word is the only foundation upon which to build a life of authenticity. And when you are authentic, people will naturally gravitate towards you. They will be drawn to the light, God’s light, which is reflected, refracted and dispersed through you.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (I Peter 4:12-13)

Like diamonds, each of us is unique in our beauty—our inner beauty, which matters most to God. That beauty is a by-product of your struggles, and the degree to which you have allowed God to refine you. Do you see the necessity of that refining process in shaping and strengthening your character? Do you see the beauty in that? If you do, then you will be a diamond that God can use—brilliant, valuable and deeply precious.



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