I lived in Korea, surviving the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. It was during this time I was given the name Han Kyoul and the start of my journey towards authenticity in my Christian life.
Backing up from 1997, I want to share how I got to that point. I was born and raised in a classical Pentecostal church, and considered myself a third generation Pentecostal. My parents and my grandmother attended the same church. Growing up in that environment led me to the call of God on my life to a life of missions work. This meant Bible College and a year in Kenya as an exchange student. I lived in the Christian bubble my whole life.
That is, until 1997, I went to Korea for some adventure and to escape my rural Canadian life. The first time I was out of the Christian bubble. And the interesting thing is that the first person I met was a professed atheist. What was interesting about this man was the fact that he went in an opposite direction in life compared to me, ending up with a similar philosophy of life. We were different in the spiritual sense, but peas in the pod in just about everything else. Out of this friendship, I purposed that I would lead an authentic Christian life, not simply a life lived in the bubble.
Coming back from Korea, I did slip back into the bubble a little, but also had a job as a gas station attendant. This job taught me that ministry is not simply what the vocational minister does, but what we do everyday. It’s one of those concepts where the head knowledge and the heart knowledge are separated. And I hope it dawns on others quicker than it did for me.
Living an authentic Christian life is a tough road. It is a way of life that must be chosen each day. I still struggle all the time but recognizing the struggle is the first step in moving forward.
What are some ways you live an authentic life?