The title of this post was inspired by a beautiful song by Francesca Battistelli. The lyrics to the song are dispersed throughout the post (in italics).
If we’re honest with ourselves, Authentic Community is something we all long for. We were literally made to love and be loved. It’s not about being part of a group, team or club; It’s about being known and loved by the one who knows us; however, the truth is it only occurs when the REAL you shows up. For authentic community to happen, we must live a life of integrity, a life without hypocrisy. It is not about sinless perfection but about being honest with where you are.
Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I’m a mess and so are you
We’ve built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do
In Romans 12 v 9-21, Paul describes love in a letter to the church in Rome and he begins with “Love must be sincere….”. When relationships are characterized by posturing, posing or acting like we have it all together, we eliminate the possibility of having real, authentic relationships. You can never be fully loved unless people know the real you.
Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
Being honest allows you to experience genuine acceptance and allows you to be embraced and cared for. Hypocrisy comes from a desire to cover up our willful disobedience to God. The reason why we sometimes find ourselves struggling with the same sin or reaching a plateau in spiritual growth is because we keep our lives secret. No matter how much we try to “walk the Christian walk”, there’s only so much we can do without authentic community. Life change happens during authentic community. The greatest seed in the greatest soil cannot grow in a bad environment (read Luke 8: 1- 15 and Mark 4: 1-20).
Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay
Our secrets down at the cross, at the cross
Authentic community is about building relationships that will last a long time. Do not confuse being part of a Church or home group or fellowship as experiencing authentic community. First of all, authentic community will only happen in a small group of people but it has to be a group where sharing life honestly is fostered (confessing sin, sharing victories, being devoted to one another, persevering together). Jesus changed the entire world by sharing life with 12 guys; living with them, eating with them, he devoted himself to them and when He left, the disciples continued this trend and spread the gospel throughout the world through small authentic communities.
It would change our lives
It would set us free
It’s what we need to be
Authentic community is powerful and it happens when the love of Christ is shared with vulnerability, sacrifice and devotion. What’s keeping you from experiencing it?