It’s easy to believe that we’re being real – that we’re loving well, being intentional, and crowding out the fake.
But, if we dig deep enough, I think we’ll discover that too many of us are not embracing the call to be real, bold, and selfless.
We’re worried about appearances.
We’re worried about money.
We’re worried about the number of likes we got for that Instagram post of our morning coffee.
We wonder too much about what the person next to us is thinking that we forget to ask how we can pray for their day.
We stare at the mom in the grocery store with a screaming child and think ‘Please, make it stop’ before we offer to carry her bags to the van.
We read self-help books about every possible topic before we invite an older and wiser church-goer to lunch and ask for their help.
And when we doubt God’s plan, we don’t talk about it.
We hide far too often. And believe me, I’m preaching to the choir here.
But we also all feel the burden to be real.
We feel the burden to look the grocery-store mom in the eye and tell her that we would be happy to carry those bags because, wow, she’s got her hands full. We want to pray for those beside us because real community requires prayer. And lunch dates sound great – great enough set down the self-help books and make time.
How do we get past the fake and just be real?
It’s downright scary to be the friend in the group who wants to ask the deeper questions. Ask anyway. With the hard questions, a layer of that huge onion of fear is revealed and you can join hands and love on people and be real.
It’s hard to take a loaf of bread to your new neighbor, but your neighbor might really love bread and might really love to be a new friend. Your new neighbor could be the person that encourages your heart and listens to your struggles.
It’s might be overwhelming to ask a stranger how you can pray for them, but wow, when the people of God storm the throne on behalf of a brother, things happen. And things might need to happen for that stranger who’s now a brother.
All of these scary things that cause us to hide can be broken with the power of some real. When we purposefully choose to crowd out the fake and love people with our whole selves, walls break down and the power of a mighty God shines through the cracks.
Being the hands and feet of Jesus forces us to be real.
And being real with others brings us back to the feet of Jesus.
Believe me, friend, there is no place you would rather be than sitting with brothers and sisters in authentic grace at the feet of our Savior.
So, how do we embrace realness? Consider one of these ten ideas.
How to Embrace Realness Today:
- Bake cookies, put them on a cute paper plate, and deliver them to a neighbor you’ve never met. Then stay awhile and listen to their story.
- Invite a friend to talk a walk through your favorite park. Ask intentional questions about their marriage, children, church, friendships, etc.
- Pick up a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store. Deliver them to your church secretary with a hug and a smile.
- Text an overwhelmed friend and tell her to bring the kids to your house for the afternoon. When she arrives, surprise her with a chocolate bar and a gift card to get her nails done.
- Order your favorite book and have it sent to someone who needs to smile – anonymously.
- Send a hand-written card to 3 people in need of encouragement.
- Have a friend who really doesn’t enjoy cooking? Surprise her by delivering dinner to her home in the late afternoon.
- Clean and vacuum your husband’s car while he’s busy. It’ll be a sweet surprise when he opens the door the next morning.
- Have family friends over for dinner and serve breakfast. Make it casual, but ask intentional questions about their relationship. Pray for them before they leave.
- Offer to help a friend clean while you listen to music and share some soul talk. Your friend will have a clean home, and you’ll have a refreshed heart.
This list is a start. This list is meant to encourage some real.
Take a step towards bravery & boldness and let your truest self show. Be vulnerable. Love fiercely.
You never know what might happen when you embrace authenticity rooted in grace.
P.S. Grab the FREE eBook all about nurturing authentic friendships written by Melanie Redd & me!