We see throughout the words of the New Testament the call to “love one another.” This is primarily about serving in humility out of obedience to Jesus, but it is also recognizing the God-designed nature for us to be in relationship. Relationships are vital for health and well-being and there is no greater need for those relationships than in these days of physical distancing and isolation.
As I look at the gospel accounts of Jesus walking with the twelve, I see the necessity of those relationships in each of them learning about the ways of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. I also see God using those relationships to sharpen and encourage one another. Yeah, there are some pretty rough spots, like when their vying for position next to Jesus. However, there are also some really sweet moments, like when Jesus sends them out together in Matthew 10 to minister to others as a team.
Yesterday I listened to a brief message by Dr. Henry Cloud, a Christian psychologist and author of the famous “Boundaries” for relationships series. He shared that in this time of crisis, when our brains and emotions want to react impulsively and fix the chaos we are experiencing, we should be intentional about connecting with others.
If you find yourself emotionally and spiritually challenged and even drained in this season (that would be all of us in one way or another), then make it a point to be intentional about your connections with others. I know it’s different and I know it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. Make a phone call, set up a video call or group call on Zoom or other app, or text. You can and should make a connection today for your own health and the health of others. And after all, God’s church is equipped to do this because of the grace and love poured out upon us by Jesus Christ.
The point in making these connections is to be intentional. Talk with others about your challenges and also God’s gracious gifts during this time. Allow this time to bring encouragement and help to you and to those to whom you are connecting. Here are a few suggestions for making this a reality:
- Make a list of friends and family and reach out to one or two of them a day.
- Make a calendar schedule of people to contact.
- Set reminder alarms on your phone.
- In your daily prayer time ask God to give you names of others to reach out and connect.
- Set a specific time each day to make connections that works around your schedule.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:5–6
While this season can bring weariness and discouragement, making intentional connections with others will be a practical way to “Share Life and Share Christ.” I hear on almost a daily basis of how you are connecting with others during this time. Keep it up!
Take care of yourself and take care of one another!