In the New Testament, we see an early church that modeled encouragement by making everything they owned available to each other. We all need people who will encourage us with both words and actions. Who do you have in your life that encourages you to be the very best person that you can be? How can you be that person for others?
A relationship with your true self is vitally important and must be nurtured just like your relationships with others. You cannot be a great partner or a mentor, or even listen to a mentor, if you lack self-awareness and a strong relationship with who you are. This may be the most difficult relationship to nurture, but it is a critical part of becoming the person God wants you to be.
No matter our age and stage of life, we all have people in our lives who can learn from us. Connecting God’s family means not only seeking wise mentors for ourselves, but also pouring ourselves and what we know into others. How can you offer God’s love and your wisdom to another person?
Partners are often found in marriage, but those who are single can also find great partners to work with, rely on, and trust. We were not created to live individually, but to partner first with God, and then also with one another. If you are married, how can you invest more in your partnership with your spouse? If you are not married or in a significant partnership, how might you seek to deepen a true friendship?
Our scripture this week is about the friendship of David and Jonathan, a relationship so vital that they were “bound up” in each other’s lives. True friendships are very different from Facebook friendships. We may have people in our lives that we see in passing or share posts or tweets with, but do we have those people whose friendships are so deeply meaningful that we cannot be the same without them?
We need people in our lives that we can turn to when we are unsure of ourselves and our answers. With humility, we admit that we need others with more perspective and wisdom than we have individually. Who are those wise mentors in your life, and how might you learn from and rely on them?
The most vital relationship we have is with our creator God, who is always with us. In God we find redemption, and time spent on this relationship is key to living our lives to the fullest potential. What might you do to foster a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God at this point in your life?
Do you schedule times to serve, going on mission trips or taking full days to serve the community? What about the times in between? Jesus invites us to love our neighbors wherever and whenever we see a need. How can we open our eyes to see the people all around us who need to experience Christ’s love through us?
The Pharisees and good religious folk of Jesus’ day wanted to engage him in an argument, but Jesus avoided the debate by telling them to love instead of argue. What amazing advice for us all! What if everyone who claims to follow Christ stopped trying to win arguments and instead focused on acting like Jesus and loving other people unconditionally?
God designed us for deep and meaningful relationships with one another, but often we replace those potential relationships with shallow conversations about what is wrong with the world around us. How might we spend more energy nurturing our own relationships and less energy pointing out the faults and differences of others?