Kobe Bryant gave a spectacular performance while scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. Many people have given heartfelt tributes and let him know how much they appreciated his career. I think what long time ref, Monty McCutchen, told Kobe during his finale was especially interesting:

“The frustrations, the respect, whatever got exchanged between you and I, was real and I will never ever forget that part of it. Even when you were upset with me it was genuine, and not mean-spirited, it was real and there’s something to be said for genuineness in this world.” 

Of course Kobe did his fair share of complaining and arguing with the refs, including McCutchen, but it’s nice to know that what stood out to this ref was the genuineness of Kobe.

If you’re like me, you love being around genuine people who admit how they truly feel and also genuinely listen and care about others. There is tremendous value in their authenticity, transparency, and knowing where they stand.

Unfortunately, we sometimes struggle being this way ourselves. Instead of telling others the truth, we put up a front and tell them what we think they want to hear.

As followers of Jesus, all areas of our lives should represent genuineness – our faith, our love, our interactions, and our communication.

Paul’s powerful prayer for the people in Philippians 1:9-11 gives us a great foundation for genuineness: “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”

As we grow and become more like Jesus, our character becomes more genuine. We begin to understand what really matters and our knowledge of God’s Word becomes evident.

Today, let’s pursue a genuine faith, an authentic love for others, real relationships, and a pure life. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for not always being genuine when I come before you in prayer or when I interact with others. Please give me the strength to be a genuine follower of Jesus who authentically loves others. Help me to speak the truth and be someone who others trust sharing the truth with. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.