You Are Needed: Making the Most of Your Relationships and How that Helps you Grow
On Easter Sunday we were able to meet with our church family in person for the first time in over a year. It was awkward. It was different. But it was so wonderful. I watched my friend’s little girl twirl her pretty dress during worship, stopping every few moments to adjust her eyeglasses and peek at my teenager. That really got the waterworks going.
The pandemic has taught me that fellowship with like-minded, life-giving people is vital and that it comes in many forms, even when we can’t meet in person. Authentic relationships help us grow and make course corrections in our faith journey. Ephesians 4 goes into depth about how our unique callings work together to encourage and build each of us up. We need each other. I love that.
Sometimes we put our spiritual experiences into narrowly defined boxes—Bible, check. Prayer, check. Worship, check. But we don’t actually have spiritual and non-spiritual aspects of our lives. God wants us to be whole, integrated. Our spiritual lives include the people that cross our paths.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6, ESV
Here are some ways we can be more intentional with our relationships as a daily practice:
- Pray before you meet up or FaceTime with someone to ask God to help you be a blessing to them.
- Be willing to ask the tough but loving questions about how your friends are doing emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Be intentional about going beyond chit chat and to the heart of matters. Ask how you can pray for them.
- In your next conversation, think of 1 or 2 things you can say to your friend to encourage them as a person or in their purpose. Focus more on those things than on outward appearances or personality traits. Notice where they’ve been working hard, how they’ve impacted your life, what they mean to you and to others.
- Make a decision in advance that you will listen well.
- Invite or include someone that you wouldn’t normally consider.
Am I prioritizing people in my life to the extent God is leading me? Is there someone I need to reach out to this week? What is one way I can be more intentional this week?
Speaking of loving others
I had the privilege of writing for Rachael Adams’ Love Offering blog this week about reaching people right where you are through ordinary acts of kindness. What might happen if we collectively try to reach and help the one instead of the many?
Read the article on the Love Offering blog
Previous Weeks in the Daily Practice
Practicing what we want to to feel easy and routine
Actively choosing truthful thoughts
Making prayer a never-ending conversation