This past weekend, in the spur of the moment, I whisked down to Seattle to meet up with my dearest friend Rebecca for a mini girls get-away. Rebecca is married to an American and has lived in the USA for the last nine years. As life has changed and families have grown it has become harder to widdle out "girl time." So, with 24 hours to ourselves we met up in downtown Seattle and had a wonderful time together.
Rebecca & I have been friends since the beginning of grade eight and have truly journeyed through life together. We've graduated high school & university, found Rebecca's birth parents, mourned the loss of my mom, gotten married, had babies, gained weight, lost weight, had every color hair and every style of hair, talked daily and not talked for weeks.
Rebecca & I have a true authentic friendship.....we've seen the good and the bad in each other and love one another for it. We have an understanding that we pick up where we left off - regardless if that was a week since we spoke or a month. Monday morning she forwarded me a daily devotional she got via email....it was so timely and so true, I thought it was perfect to share with the blogging world:
Authentic Friendships by Rick Warren
But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:7-8 (NCV)
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In Christian fellowship people should experience authenticity.
Authentic fellowship is not superficial, surface-level chit-chat. It's genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-level, sharing. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives. They share their hurts, reveal their feelings, confess their failures, disclose their doubts, admit their fears, acknowledge their weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer. Authenticity is the exact opposite of what you find in many churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, there is pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. People wear masks, keep their guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship. It's only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship.
The Bible says, "If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. . . . If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves" (1 John 1:7-8 NCV).
The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. We tend to use darkness to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in the light, we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.Of course, being authentic requires both courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt again.
Why would anyone take such a risk? Because it's the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy.
The Bible says, "Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed" (James 5:16 MSG).
It was a reminder and confirmation of my heart's desire to always walk in honesty and live a truly authentic life with authentic relationships. It is so easy to stay in a place to comfort and familiarity but the blessings you find when you open yourself and dive in head first are so rewarding.
So I leave that with you today......are you investing in authentic friendships?