We accept others’ inauthenticity on their journey to growth.
Accepting inauthenticity in others is required of us even when we are on the journey to realness within ourselves. So how do we do this and not compromise our own genuine self?
First, we remember what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:7:
“Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
Let’s be brutally honest. Some people have a lot of growing up to do, and as far as authenticity goes, that’s a level many will never achieve. And age has nothing to do with it. I know a thirteen-year-old who is wiser and more authentic than people five times his age.
Accepting some inauthenticity doesn’t mean you change your expectations.
I think we still expect realness from others, and we can encourage that in them by always being real ourselves. Sometimes, people learn more by example and are led by example than anything we might say. If you are authentic, others will see that and hopefully trust they can follow suit.
We still expect fairness, manners, etc., and just don’t put up with bad behavior.
When we need to, we separate ourselves and set some boundaries.
We still maintain some “acceptance” parameters.
If I didn’t write it yesterday, I need to add it today. We will not be best friends with someone who isn’t authentic. It’s impossible. Sometimes, though, we go many years before we realize that the person we thought we knew wasn’t that person at all.
I’ve talked to many people who have experienced this, and they all say the same thing, “We never really knew them.” That’s because we chose to ignore it because we got something out of the relationship until, of course, we didn’t. And when truth illuminates like that, you have no choice. You either continue on, knowing you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t even know who they are, much less want to know who you are, or you call it quits.
Believe it or not, I think there are times when because you are getting something valuable from the relationship, you might even continue it. But now you see it for what it is, and you go from there.
We can set up “acceptance” boundaries and limit our exposure when needed. And we maintain our authenticity at all costs.
Being authentic is scary
Let’s remember, though, that being a real person is very difficult for some people. I’m glad for the grace that was given to me as a floundering teenage girl. I had many adult mentors who helped me peel away the layers. Some layers remain today, but I’m aware of them, and they don’t get in the way of my functioning.
It’s not easy being authentic, and it takes some people much longer because of fear. They fear being hurt and rejected. That’s why, for years, I learned to wear a mask for self-protection. Thank goodness, with God’s love, I could take it off. But it took many years. So let’s give others grace and help them learn to shed some layers as well.
God bless, and have a great day.