“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
(Judges 17:6 NKJV)
If we peel back the layers of modern philosophy we will find a common root ideal amongst most of them. This ideal loosely stated is that the meaning of life is to live it in authenticity. The highest manifestation being that a person remains true to themselves regardless of the pressures of civilization. We can acknowledge something of value here and we can certainly see the influence this ideal has in modern Christianity. That said, the Biblical arguments against authenticity are many; but there is one I believe worth understanding today.
The question that the pursuit of authenticity of individual personality and truth cannot answer for us is “why should I be responsible to anyone else or why should I be a good person beyond any advantages it gives me?”. Certainly there are social rewards for appearing to be a good person up and to the point where the good person asks others to change. We can also make beautiful statements about inherit goodness in humanity and social contracts. Yet, when inherit goodness fails if the Mountaineers lose and social contracts are meaningless at the DMV, how can we hope that social rewards will help us to cope with each other through the really hard things in this world?
Thanks be to God for His mercy. Should a follower of Christ limit their own desires and personality in what some would call bad faith out of fear of an angry God? Perhaps what God’s Word reveals to us is that sacrificing our desires and personality in love of Him and our neighbor is what pleases Him (Romans 12:1). Perhaps being accountable and honoring those around us is a sweet aroma to our Creator and the desire beyond all desires in us is to hear Him say well done?
Perhaps it is as simple as knowing that He asks: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18 NKJV)