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Gen Z and the Quest to “BeReal”

How does having a heart like Jesus help you live authentically?

BeReal is a social media app birthed during the 2020 Covid pandemic that now has almost 75 million monthly users. Once per day, it randomly sends a notification to users all over the world. When notified, you whip out your phone and post in real time simultaneous front- and back-facing photos of what you’re currently doing.

You have two minutes to pose and snap the shot, unlike Instagram which has long been criticized for showcasing users’ perfectly polished, filtered (and even fake) photos. BeReal is most popular among my generation — Generation Z — which isn’t surprising considering authenticity is a high value for me and my peers.

From “no makeup” makeup trends to solid-color fashion, Gen Z hopes to breathe fresh air into an online world bombarded by carefully curated personas. It’s easy to understand why. Being authentic allows us to break free from the pressures of filtering and FOMO and embrace our true selves. It empowers us to express our unique perspectives and passions. We value authenticity with our friends and family, and even the people we follow on social media.

This got me to thinking: How much more important is it that we are authentic in our relationship with Christ? Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

For those who have Jesus as our Savior, our authentic selves are now who we are in Christ, not who we are in our original nature. The world will encourage you to “be yourself” — telling you to ignore or even validate struggles with sexuality, porn, lying, gossip, negative self-talk and more. But a truly authentic life is found when you give up your heart’s natural desires by turning to Jesus and asking Him to give you a new heart like His.

How does having a heart like Jesus help you live authentically? Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created people unique from the rest of creation. We are made to reflect God in ways no other part of creation can. The most authentic version of yourself is who you become as that image is fully sanctified in Christ. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

In Christ we are free to live in the authenticity God gives us through His Spirit, and we are then told to share this with the world. Even better, the Spirit is always with us, lovingly present and ready to help us grow. The more you grow in God’s Word and in your knowledge and love for Him, you become the truest version of yourself.

Now that’s something to celebrate — and maybe even post on BeReal.

Copyright 2023 Vallie Weis. All rights reserved. 

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About the Author

Vallie Weis

Vallie Weis is the 2023 Boundless intern. She is a Kansas native, coming to Colorado from a small farming town called Little River (pop 474). She currently attends Sterling College where she will be a senior in the fall double majoring in Writing and Editing and Graphic Design. In her free time, Vallie is currently preparing for her upcoming wedding to her Fiancé, Nilo, in early August. She is super excited to spend her summer in Colorado with Boundless and experience all the new adventures the mountains have to offer.

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