Connecting Skills - 3. The Art of Empathy
Connecting Skills - 5. The Art of Forgiveness

Connecting Skills - 4. The Art of Authenticity

Jesus was a very transparent person. He let his friends see him as he really was - in moments of joy, sadness, anger, and fatigue. His followers never had to guess whether he was delighted or disappointed. He modeled deep disclosure to a few trusted friends. Read this slowly ...

Matthew 26:36-38. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." NIV

The apostle Paul also modeled a life of transparency and authenticity. He was real and was willing to take off any masks to let people see who he really was and how he was going (see 2 Cor.6:11).

Who knows your needs? Who do you ask to pray for you? Who do you let see your brokenness -your weaknesses and struggles?

Share your life with others. Don’t hide. Never pretend to be more than you really are.

This is not easy as our culture is into “image projection” and “impression management”. We have a strong tendency to hide and to want to look better than we really are. However, when we hide, our relationships become stagnant and we lose the help and support that may be available to us. There is no healing in hiding, only in authenticity (see James 5:16).

A while ago, I had lunch with influential church leader. He asked me how I was doing. I hesitated at first ... then decided to answere honestly rather than the typical “Great!” or “Awesome!” The depth of our conversation immediately changed. He thanked me for my openness. Sadly, he admitted to going through the same type of emotional low that I had been going through but he never had the courage to tell anyone.

Think about it: the level of intimacy or closeness in any relationship or group is directly related to the level of openness in that relationship or group.

Be open, honest and real. Share how you are really doing. Yes, we need wisdom and discernment in this area and trust is essential. We all need 'safe people' in our world who really know us - warts and all. Of course, not everyone knows how to respond to our openness (the disciples fell asleep after Jesus opened his heart to them and asked for prayer support!). It can feel a little awkward at first. However, make a choice to allow others to minister to you. Learn to receive.

[Part 5]

Comments

Authenticity is a blank page... each person is uniquely authentic in their own way :)

Thank you Mark :) Appreciate your excellent words of wisdom.

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