Authentic relationships are one of the most clear, visible evidences of our relationship with God. Jesus told his disciples we would be known by our love. It’s the most readily recognizable characteristic of a disciple of Jesus. We are called to engage with other people in ways that reflect the heart of God toward them.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

We are called to reflect God to people… yet we are not God. We are imperfect, broken people who make mistakes, sin against one another, and yield to temptation. So given our fallen condition, how can we reflect God well? Through honesty and transparency. It’s the same rule we learned in kindergarten: admit it when you make a mistake and say you’re sorry. Faults are hardest to overlook when they go unacknowledged by the owner of that fault. Yet there’s something appealing about people who admit their mistakes and ask forgiveness. It puts godliness as a transforming agent into perspective.

So what do authentic relationships with others look like? The five essential expressions of authentic relationships are:

  • Showing respect for all people
  • Forgiving others and asking forgiveness
  • Confronting others with humility as necessary
  • Praying with and for others
  • Supporting each other honestly through life challenges

You can purchase a discipleship guide that takes you into more depth in each of these areas here.

This blog entry is a part of a series on the 8 dimensions of discipleship. You can purchase the entire set here.

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