There’s a simple 3-word prayer that has birthed from deep within my heart while soaking up life in the African dirt. Day after day, I am crazy blessed to sit at the feet of men and women who pour out their lives so that Heaven would keep invading the earth around them. They are mostly unknown, with little applause or fame to their names, but they’re too busy getting on with things to care about that. They are changing the history of nations.
And as I hear their stories and catch hold of their released words that carry the winds of authenticity with every breath exhaled, this prayer deep within me keeps stirring with increased ferocity.
Over and over, I find myself praying: God, kill the counterfeit.
Oh the counterfeit. It’s those places where I’ve taken another man’s affirmations to give life and breath to that which is rightfully set aside only for the words of the Father.
You can quickly spot the counterfeit within yourself or others – if you’re looking for it. It grows by way of comparison, jealousy, and anxiety over not being enough. Its foundation is comprised of some mix of performance, perfection, and fear. Its choices are based on pleasing those around or ensuring man’s applause. Its every movement carries a tether that keeps you constantly feeling constrained and hindered. It may look similar to the real you, but it’s far away from authenticity’s freedom and fullness.
Collectors of art – the nice, real masterpieces – know well of counterfeits. The original piece by the artist carries a fingerprint, a creative expression, and unique character that a copy can never achieve. The original piece is costly and adds to the ever-growing sea of what has never been seen before the moment of its creation. But the counterfeit, the copy of the unique, holds almost no value or vibrancy in comparison.
The real deal can never be accurately replicated.
As I sit under incredible men and women, it is easy for me to crave all that they walk in – the authority they speak with or the lives they live. While there is a rightful place for honoring those we admire, there is no place for counterfeiting the original masterpieces of those around us. Admiring another person’s passionate brilliance is meant to motivate us down the path of unique expression, not take us off the trail marked for our own risky pioneer.
The counterfeit will always beckon us down a nicely manicured road of comfort and three-steps-to-success thinking, placing our feet in the footprints of those who have already crossed through this land before. While the ease may be alluring at times, the lack of risk in failure or potential for transforming breakthrough will keep our hearts short from beating the rhythm of life abundant.
Only the oil we pay our own price will keep the fire of our lives burning amidst life’s shifting grounds.
Authenticity is costly. It’s pioneering the unknown terrain of destiny, where bruises and cuts are the marks of well-won victories, scars are the stories, and the dirt and grit is the evidence of a life truly lived. Everything of fearful safety must die for everything of daring originality to arise.
Maybe you’re like me, longing for the fullest expression within you to come alive. The beautiful nature of displacement is that the counterfeit dies by way of the authentic within us awakening and arising.
The more you are you, the less you can ever be someone else.