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Tell it Real

Recently at a dinner party I had a long conversation with someone who, until that conversation, was merely an acquaintance. During our conversation he genuinely shared about his life, where he had been and where he sees himself going. I reciprocated. By the end of the evening, through honest conversation, I had a new friend.

At some level we all crave authentic story. Our addiction to true stories not only fuels a desire for authentic conversation but also for based on a true story movies or novels, documentaries, biographies, and even ‘reality’ television.

Authentic conversations not only feel great, they are an integral part of being a healthy human. In these conversations there is no posturing, posing, one-upping, or hiding behind a mask. When we tell it real we share the unvarnished version of our current reality; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then, someone else reciprocates. Just to be clear, telling it real does not mean we tell someone off, give them a piece of our mind, act rudely, inconsiderate, or slanderous. It’s means we talk reflectively, honestly, and with humble vulnerability.

During authentic conversations we offer and receive constructive insights that lead to real change. We say and hear things like, “you’re so gifted, don’t give up, I’m so glad I know you, you have really helped me, you’re really doing well keep it up, I’m a better person because of you, I’m standing with you no matter what, you inspire me, I love you…or please stop this destructive behavior, give up on that, that relationship is unhealthy, it’s time to forgive them, apply yourself, you are hurting others, you’re bitter, you are pushing me away.”

Telling it real lays and maintains the groundwork for healthy relationships. Authentic conversation serves as a safe place for us to face reality and deal with it rather than deny it or gloss it over. We hear another’s perspective, offer ours, and entertain change. ‘Tell it real’ dialogue has the power to unearth differences and simultaneously draw us together. This solidarity and mutual acceptance breed honesty and transformation not only in one-on-one conversations but also in groups.

Ultimately, solidarity and acceptance begin with God. Through Christ, God has provided a way of total reconciliation by which he offers us solidarity and unconditional acceptance. So, it makes sense for us to tell it real to God. Too often in our life with God and others we hide or pose. But telling it real to God and others can become a way of life if we accept the gift of God’s acceptance. We can accept that God stands with us and accepts just us as we are and will be, whatever happens. We’ve been set us free to honestly face God, others, and ourselves.

By accepting God’s acceptance, we not only gain the courage to face our darkness and the darkness in others but to deal with it gracefully. We no longer have reason to hide, posture, pose, or one-up. We can tell it real without hesitation. Living this way makes us contagious to those seeking authenticity and repulsive to pretenders. I can live with that.

About the Author

Artie has been communicating God's grace in various contexts over the last fifteen years. His passion is similar to Bill and Anabel's in that he desires to communicate God's grace in a way that makes it easily applicable in everyday life.