Authentic is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. You have authentic clothes, shoes, bags, drinks, coffee, stores, etc. It seems everything and everyone wants to be authentic.
But have you ever thought about what it actually means to be authentic and why it matters that we are authentic disciples?
When you look authentic up in the dictionary, you’ll find that one of the definitions is genuine. Genuine is how I’m using authentic in this post. As Jesus’ disciples, we are to be genuine.
Disciples gather together in authentic community
How we know we are a part of an authentic community?
Acts 2:42 helps us understand what it means to be disciples who live in a genuine community.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”(Acts 2:42)
Authentic disciples don’t have ulterior motives.
As we look at this verse, we learn authentic community occurs when we are genuinely sharing our lives with one another, so that we are all growing in Christ. Authentic people genuinely care about the lives of those around them. They genuinely want to see others built up in the faith. They genuinely want to use their God-given gifts to minister to one another.
Authentic disciples gather together in a transformative learning community because it is the best place for them and others to grow to be more like Christ.Tweet
Authentic disciples care about transformation, not comfort
Those who are authentic don’t hold back with one another. They press into difficult situations and conversations because they actually care about transformation, not just what another can do for them.
If you catch yourself saying or thinking, “I know I should talk with that person about what’s going on in their life, but I am not going to do it because it might hinder our relationship or they might react in a negative way.” If that is your mentality, your relationship is not authentic. You are in it for what you can get out of it.
Authentic disciples share their lives with others
Authentic disciples are not only willing to speak the truth in love, but they are also willing to share their life with those in whom they are in community. When someone asks how they are doing, authentic disciples share how they are really doing. When someone asks how they can pray for them, authentic disciples share how others can really pray for them.
It is because we value their opinion over our spiritual growth. But here is the thing, we ought to be able to share our struggles with one another because their acceptance of us shouldn’t ultimately matter.
Authentic disciples are gospel-centered
As Christians, we have the greatest acceptance we could ever want — that is the acceptance of Jesus. His acceptance is not conditional. It is not based on our appearance of having everything put together. Jesus knows we don’t have everything put together. Jesus knows our social media profile is not representative of actual life.
Let’s just be real for a minute. We are all messed up, jacked up people. None of us really have it all together. To think you are the only one who is struggling with something is a lie from Satan. We are all struggling with something, which means we all need prayer. If that is true, we can and should ask others to pray for us in our time of need.
Transformation doesn’t happen without teaching, it doesn’t happen without counsel, it doesn’t happen without prayer. Transformation doesn’t happen if we aren’t authentic with one another.Tweet
Being authentic leads to interdependent relationships. We will talk about interdependent relationships next time. If you haven’t already, subscribe so you don’t miss the next element of a Christian community that contributes to growth in Christlikeness.
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