The words of a particular recent conversation continue to ring in my mind. They were everything but authentic.
authentic :: not false or copied; genuine; real; sincere; true; original; legitimate
As I listened beneath the words, I heard what the words weren’t saying.
The words were of success and personal accomplishments, but I heard the demand to strive and prove oneself. The words were prideful and a bit boastful, but I heard loneliness and seeking acceptance. The words were putting others down. But I heard the disheartening attempts to feel better about oneself.
It was evident this one was hiding the real person whom God created him/her to be, and was saying all the “right” words, and doing all the “right” things to gain attention.
But I knew there was more. I left the conversation feeling unattached and a bit sorrowful for this acquaintance. And I sadly realized we’d never be able to be good friends until we could have a real and authentic relationship.
I’ve come to realize authentic relationships are a beautiful gift.
When I think of this kind of authenticity, I think of the words in the definition above, but what also comes to mind is so much more…
–The freedom to be who you are with another, without sugar-coating words, without having to impress.
–The blessing of letting your guard down to allow feelings and emotions to come to the surface.
–The bravery it takes to allow someone else to see the real you.
–The joy that is found in embracing who you were created to be and allowing others that same gift.
–The intimacy a relationship can experience because two have agreed to be real with one another.
–The desire for each relationship to have such an understanding.
I find I hang out more with those whom I share this real, authentic relationship with. I desire to be with them because of how I feel when I’m in their presence. I can be open, honest, true. And I can be me.
I only wish I had more of these kinds of authentic relationships in my life.
I fully understand I will never get to experience this kind of authenticity with all people. But that doesn’t stop me from desiring that. I can continue to be the appropriate, real me in my conversations, in my writing, in public, in social media. Some might think I share too much. Some could think I’m not perfect enough or special enough to be their friend. Some might even believe I’m plumb crazy.
But God doesn’t call us to have perfect lives. He doesn’t call us to hide our lives, or our stories. He doesn’t want you or me to be anyone else but who He’s created us to be.
So why not share who we are?? Why not be authentic??
Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Romans 12:9 VOICE
You and I have the freedom to be who God created us to be. Imperfect. Real. Unique. Authentic. And only when we are will we be able to love others how God calls us to.
Can you and I be authentic with one another?? How can we live in authenticity this very day?
Much love to you today,
Linking this post with Kelly at #RaRaLinkup, Holly for #TestimonyTuesday, and Crystal for #IntentionalTuesday.
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The Holy Spirit is threading a chord in our posts today, Julie. My heart was on authenticity this week as well. I so agree with you … we have the freedom to be who God created us to be – perfectly imperfect. I value and appreciate your willingness to be authentic with us friend – it makes your words all the sweeter. Glad I was your upstairs neighbor at #testimonytuesday.
Tiffany, I appreciate your words here. Yes, the freedom to be who God created us to be. So thankful for this! I’ll stop over to read your blog as well. It’s always a joy to have you here. Have a great finish to your week, my friend!
Julie, I love this! I wish we all could be authentic and be ourselves. I have some people like that where we can be ourselves even disagreeing but still having a close relationship. I pray God will help us to be honest and real with each other. Blessings to you today! Thanks for coming by my blog. 🙂
I pray the same, Gayl. Glad we can be real with each other. I appreciate you stopping over!
Julie, I have asked God so often over the years for just one…just one…real friend where I can be me. And he has blessed me with a few and then, either I move or they do. I miss this and yet God does hear my prayer. He brings in someone to show me that He knows and wants this for me as well, but there are lessons for me along the way. So it seems!
This is a special post for me. Thank you for being you.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Hi Linda! God continues to hear your prayers. Sometimes I feel some of the “realest” friends I have are online with me, and I appreciate them so much, even though I haven’t met them in real life. You are one of those people, Linda. Thank you! Thank you for being you as well!
I’m pretty good at hiding behind masks–oddly enough, I’ve discovered that as I get more ‘real’ on my blog, it gets easier to be ‘real’ in person. Have you found this to be true, too?
That’s interesting, Anita. I’ve never thought about that correlation before. I assumed I was being real on my blog because I was intentionally living a real life. Could be the other way around too. Great thought for me to ponder today, friend! Many blessings to you today. Thanks for being here!
Julie, I know for myself becoming the me who God created me to be and learning to see that as a good thing has been a journey. The friendships I have now are deeper because of living more authentically. But I still have old relationships that remain strained, who would prefer to stay at surface level … those are hard. Thank you, friend, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday. : )
Yes, Crystal, I share in having some of those same kinds of relationships. They may end up staying at that level, and that’s okay. Thank you for hosting us each week at #IntentionalTuesday. Always a joy!
I think it’s so important to be real and authentic with the people closest. Our husbands, older kids. Of course we need to share with our kids on an appropriate level, but I think we have to model what you’re talking about. Glad you were able to see beyi D you friend’s words.
I am beginning to see my adult children live authentically in the midst of others, and it is so refreshing for this momma’s heart. I couldn’t agree with you more, Betsy. Thanks for being here and sharing. Hope your week is going well!
Wow, you almost got me teared up! I have this sort of authentic relationship with only a handful of people. But it is comforting to know that our relationship with Him could be authentic, because He sees and knows everything and who we are… Having an authentic relationship is a wonderful and cherished blessing.
Amen, Alice. It is such a blessing. Especially with our Creator. Thank you for stopping in and for sharing. I appreciate your thoughts. Have a blessed day!