“You shall love the Lord…[and] love your neighbor as yourself.
On these two commands hang all the law and the prophets.”
Let me ask you a question – how strong are your relationships with others these days? And no, I’m not talking about online interactions with friends, or superficial acquaintances. How well are you actually getting to know others, to meet people face-to-face and have meaningful interaction with them? How open are you to stretching yourself to meet new people and to build relationships?
I remember a few years back as New Years rolled around and I took inventory of the previous year, I was struck by how little I had seemed to accomplish that year in terms of true relationship building. At the time my boys were all young (5, 3, and a newborn respectively), and to be honest, I was just trying to keep my head above water. My days largely consisted of caring for my boys 24/7. Well, as I reflected on the year past, I realized I had hardly met a single new person and the in-person interactions I did have with adults were lacking at best. While I understood that was just a season, I knew I never wanted another year to go by in which I hardly got to know another soul besides my children in any meaningful way.
Matthew 22:37-40 says, “You shall love the Lord…[and] love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commands hang all the law and the prophets.”
Quite simply, we were made for relationships. If we want to live full, meaningful lives, we must be intentional about building relationships.
I recently heard it said, “When you die, you take only two things with you – memories and relationships. So you’d best start developing them now.” How very true that is.
For me personally, I am trying to be more intentional in my relationships. To spend quality time with family and friends and to reach out to people I do not yet know and make an effort to get to know them… face-to-face. Is it always easy to reach out to a total stranger and say, “Hey! We share such and such in common and I’d just love to meet for coffee and get to know you more and learn how I might be of help to you.” No, no it’s not. However, what I am coming to learn myself is that people want to be known and know others. People want to connect.
When it comes to the niche areas I coach others in, I have found relationships are one of the common denominators. Whether you want to more fully live your purpose, find your career fit, or lead others effectively, you cannot do so in a box. God created us for relationships. If we want to live our best life, we need to invite others in.
This week, I challenge you to step out from behind the media and make an intentional effort to build a relationship. Set time aside for face-to-face interaction with a family member, or close friend – or if you are feeling particularly brave, reach out to that person who you would like to get to know better and offer to get together. We were made for relationships. How will you intentionally strengthen yours today?