Ten Characteristics of The Real Deal

12_3_cup_of_coffee.jpgWhat does it mean to be the real deal?  What does it mean to be an authentic person?  I really think it is important to wrestle with these questions. 

Yet so often, our time and energy is spent talking about what we (I) want:

  • I want to travel …
  • I want to purchase …
  • I want to experience …
  • I want to see …
  • I want to have my own …
  • I want to do a …

Are you like me?  Do you find yourself saying the above phrases often?  In fact I say these words more than I want to admit.  Nevertheless, I know what counts.  What counts is authenticity.  What I am becoming.  My focus needs to be on what I am becoming as a human being and Christ-follower.


This afternoon I wrote a few sentences that I am calling "Ten Characteristics of the Real Deal."  (I am coming from a Christan perspective.)  This list is by no means exhaustive.  In fact, I have listed only six characteristics.  I would like for the remaining four to come from your comments. 

Here are my six:

  • A Christian is the real deal who aspires to live with authenticity.  She doesn’t aspire to be a super-human, portray herself as faultless, or posture herself as a cut above most other people.
  • A Christian is the real deal who is intentional about practicing what he says he believes.  This is such dangerous territory for anyone who teaches or preaches the Gospel.  One can very easily speak about truths or provide admonition regarding matters which he has no intention of implementing in his own life.
  • A Christian is the real deal who deals in truth.  Truth that is taught.  Truth that is practiced.  Truth that is lived.  This is a person who lives in reality.
  • A Christian is the real deal who is intentional about obeying Jesus as Lord in every aspect of life.  All of our sins, addictions, habits, etc. are yielded to him who has laid claim on our entire life. 
  • A Christian is the real deal who lives as a true human being — not a religious performer.  This is no act! 
  • A Christian is the real deal who expects the transformational power of the Spirit to impact her emotions and her relationships.  Far too many believers have never allowed Jesus through his Spirit to transform their relationships.  They are in church every week while many of their significant relationships are in shambles.

 What would you add to this list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “Ten Characteristics of The Real Deal

  1. To me some one who is the real deal, walks the walk and talks the talk no matter what else is happening in their life. During good times, bad times, or even in just general routine times. Their attitude, actions and character show the same beleifs, no matter what season of life.

  2. In my perspective, the real deal is someone who can be with others and resist the urge to fix because they truly believe that God is at work and is bigger than who they are.  They know this because they have experienced this in their own life enough to trust it and to trust HIM.

  3. A Christian is the real deal who aspires to live in complete trust…trusting the Lord with the future, with today and with this minute.  Oswald Chambers is known to have said, “I refuse to worry!”  In this trusting, all our concerns (worries) for our children, our friends, our family and our own lives are realized in prayer and the result is abandoned living for Jesus Christ.

  4. Perhaps the real deal is someone who is humble, i.e., does not pretend to be more or less than who they are at that particular moment in their lives.  No pretense, no hypocrisy, no pseudo-humility; in a word, integrity: consistent throughout.  It rests upon remembering who we are and who we are not, as declared by the One who saved us, is saving us, and will save us.

  5. More than truth, I think the real deal is one who deals in Grace.  Truth is merely a component of Grace (see http://erichaynes.wordpress.com/2007/05/03/the-terror-and-comfort-of-christ/ for more of my thought process).  I don’t remember where I first came across this, but I have come to appreciate the equation that Grace = Truth Love.  So often, Christians who do not operate out of the real deal (as I have in the past and sometimes present) either think Grace is loving others without holding them accountable to the consequences; or that Grace is God loving them DESPITE the truth of their sinfulness.  I believe the real deal happens when I operate with the understanding that I am sinful (Truth), but God’s heart is for me as I am (Love) for which I could never earn (Grace).

  6. A Christians is the real deal when they love without conditions.  Too many times it is easy to find ourselves loving those that can do something for us.  When we see maturity in Christ measured in love for God and love for people, and not the years in assembly, or Bible verses memorized we will be more of the real deal

  7. A Christian is the real deal when they aspire to live out the will of God in their lives even when it conflicts with their own. A Christian is the real deal when they learn to love people who have little or nothing to offer in return. 

  8. I really like this posts with your excellent list of "real deal" qualities and all of the additions in the comments.
    I can’t think at the moment of anything to add except that to be the real deal, we must forgive all others no matter how we feel about them or what they do or may have done.  I’m not saying this lightly or without thought or trouble with it myself, because I do have trouble with forgiveness.  A lot of trouble with it.
    For one thing, I’ve been through a horrible divorce in my life and have very bad feelings still toward a number of people, all of whom are (supposedly) Christians.  So this has been a constant battle with me when I think of them and remember their wicked actions against me and my kids.
    But I’m trying really hard to be all of the things you say here today and to also have a heart of forgiveness towards others.
    Thanks for this post!  De 

  9. A Christian is the real deal and is approachable to folks from all walks of life. He has really bought into the idea that we are all the same before our Father – male or female, rich or poor, young or old, educated or uneducated, healthy or sick, saint or sinner.  Other people sense this and instinctively know that this is someone that can be trusted to look for the best in them and to encourage and uplift them and never, never to judge or condemn them.   

  10. Dee,Thanks for your comment.  What you say has such special meaning after your comments regarding your divorce. 

  11. Matt–you express it well.  —a desire to live out of the will of God even when it conflicts with our own.

  12. Mike,Good to hear from you again.  Very good point.  In an age when we seem to take ourselves so seriously, it is good to hear your call for humility. 

  13. Jen,Thanks.  The ring of authenticity comes through your comment very clearly.  I appreciate what you said. 

  14. A Christian is a real deal who acknowledges that all he has, all of his resources, already belong to God and are to be stewarded and used for Kingdom purposes, being willing to put others ahead of himself, cheerfully and with thanksgiving, when the Holy Spirit asks this of him.

  15. A Christian is the real deal who trusts in God through Jesus, trusting His life, His words, and His promises about our life and future.   Trusts opens up storehouses of grace and the power of the Spirit.  In faith, God grows an image of Himself in our dying skin.

  16. Hi Jim, really like your blog and always read it though i live all the way in Singapore! I’d like to add that A Christian is the real deal who is not afraid of failures, aware of his/ her fears and allows God to help him/ her overcome them. 

  17. The words about a real deal Christian especially the part about not worrying are so important. As we face middle age sometimes the concerns grow heavy particuarly for our children and the future. Thanks for this and the encouragement to live according to God’s will  always.

  18. Heather,Thanks very much.  I think many people can identify with what you say regarding heavy concerns regarding children/future, etc. 

  19. Christine,Welcome.  Glad to read your comment–all the way from Singapore.  I like what you say regarding fear and failure.Thanks.  Hope that you will comment again.