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The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships

from 2 reviews

How being real with others about our struggles helps us to fight sin and experience the authentic friendships we crave.

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Scripture Postcards: Cast All Your Cares

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We long for authentic friendships with others—but in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves.

This book shows us that, surprisingly, the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being honest about our sin before God and receiving his forgiveness, we're freed be honest about our sin with others. When we drop the act and are real with others, we are both strengthened in our fight against sin and can start to grow authentic friendships.

Catherine Parks encourages women to resist the "I'm fine" culture, get real with each other about sin and experience authentic fellowship.

This book is great for reading with your book group, women's group, accountability partner, or one-to-one mentor—discussion questions are included for every chapter.

Product details


  • Introduction
    1. Finsta and rinsta
    2. The way we were
    3. True to yourself?
    4. The joy of repentance
    5. Your roots are showing
    6. Dealing with sirens
    7. True authenticity
    Epilogue: a land without repentance

Free extras


Contributors Catherine Parks
ISBN 9781784982959
Format Paperback
First published October 2018
Dimensions 7.8" x 5" x 0.5"
Weight 6.53 oz
Case quantity 80
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher The Good Book Company

Melissa B Kruger

Women’s Ministry Coordinator, Uptown Church; author, The Envy of Eve

We’re all looking for relationships that go beyond the surface and delve into the heart—we want to be known and know others. However, often we hide who we truly are, in fear and shame, concerned that our lives aren’t as picture perfect as our friend’s social media story. In Real, Catherine Parks writes with warmth and insight, inviting us out of the shadows of our sin and into the mercy of Jesus.

Lore Ferguson Wilbert

Writer at and assorted other publications

I'll tell anyone anything, as long as I'm not face to face with them. Being real is easy when I don't have to look a person in the eyes while I confess my sin or address their sin, confess my fears or speak lovingly to their fears, and I fear I'm not alone in this. Catherine Parks gets real with her readers about her own reticence to being real, helping us to see our real problem is with God.

Scott Sauls

Senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee and author of Befriend and From Weakness to Strength

In a world filled with social media highlight reels, image-conscious personal "brands," and surface-level friendships, we need fresh invitations to consider something more honest and life-giving. As it stands, most of us have multiple "selves" that we put on display—almost like actors on a stage—depending upon the setting in which we find ourselves. We have a work self, a family self, a social gathering self, a church self, and so many other selves, all designed to control what other people think about us. Meanwhile, the gospel is right there, gently reminding us that we are already approved of in Jesus, and quietly beckoning us to stop our posing and instead offer others the gift of knowing us more truly and fully. In Real, Catherine has done a wonderful job leading us in this direction, and in so doing toward a more genuine experience of God and community. I highly recommend this book.

Customer reviews

July 20, 2019

“Eye-opening read”

This was an area I was struggling in and so when I received the book I was very excited to read it. Catherine gets to the heart of the problem, first dealing with our sin ourselves by being totally honest in repentance before God. This book is great to read on your own or with friends. I've already given copies to some of my friends so we can hold each other accountable

Nov. 5, 2018

“Great Read”

Started reading the book thinking it would be a good read for Ladies' Ministry. I was wrong. It is a great read for everyone; youth, women, and men. Catherine literally walks you through the way we so often address sin in our lives and then shows you in Scripture the Biblical way we should be handling our sin. I have read Chapter 5 three times trying to get it to sink in.

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Real | Catherine Parks |
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