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How To Build An Authentic Relationship

How To Build An Authentic Relationship

Broken Relationships Hurt

A post from a friend caused me to reflect today on broken relationships. Perhaps, there is nothing more devastating than the pain and carnage of a relationship gone sour.  This year I’ve had a few of these.  Let me be honest. They hurt. They really hurt.

Yet stop and consider something for a moment. Why is it so difficult to building lasting relationships?  The answer, I believe, rests when we are not being true to ourselves.

Resisted to Death

Take a moment and look at Romans 6:23,

23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. (The Voice Bible)

I get the first part of this verse.  Sin and death are somehow related. I have written about sin as resistance in a different post. Resistance teaches that every aspect of life is constantly confronted by a “negative repelling force” resulting in all kinds of broken relationships.

Gosh, it seems as I get a little older in life, I have become more and more aware of death in this world.  I’m not speaking of just physical, bodily death but something far deeper and more sinister: spiritual death.

There seems to be a natural decay working in everything, including human relationships.  Given enough time, this decay/death works into our relationships very often resulting in brokenness, pain, and loss.

Sometimes this death is latent in the words we speak to loved ones.  Still other times it is overt in our reactions to people. And at times, it is just the result of personality quirks working out in our relationships.  The latter is perhaps the hardest to accept.

Despite our very best intentions, it seems, misunderstandings that lead to broken trust can not be avoided.
Even our personality, as wonderful as we may think we are, unintentionally can rub people the wrong way just because our personality is still being reconciled to God. Without God doing His best in us, it seems the trajectory of human relationships results in loss, separation, and death.

Freedom to Live

It is the second part of the verse that I get jazzed about. We don’t have to accept relational death. Rather, we can experience life, genuine life because of the freedom we enjoy through faith in Jesus.

The message of Christianity can be boiled down this way: the God of the Universe, is actively seeking to reconnect with us by freeing us from what we deserve. When you accept Jesus Christ as genuinely God, you don’t lose yourself but actually become more of your authentic self.  We no longer have to strive to be perfect but instead, can accept our quirks, idiosyncrasies, and “weirdness” because we have been “ultimately” accepted by God.

If we are accepted by God, then why can’t we work to accept others?

How can you use your freedom through Jesus to build authentic, lasting relationships with others?


About The Author

Jonathan G. Smith

The Rev'd Dr. Jonathan G. Smith is the Senior Minister of Redeemer Church in Orlando, Founder of Grace Nation, and owner of Higher Purpose Coaching. His passion is to see people transformed by the Gospel, the liberating power of Jesus Christ.


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