A recent study of more than 5,000 people lifted the lid on the state of the UK’s relationships and found that one in ten people have no close friends and one in five rarely or never felt loved in the two weeks before they were surveyed. The Way We Are Now report published by Relate is one of the largest studies of its kind.
We don’t have to settle for a life of loneliness, and we don’t have to let those in our lives settle for one either. That is because God designed us for connection with Him and with each other. In John 13:34 Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
We can choose to build our bridge towards people and we can notice when they build theirs towards us. That will mean relinquishing any desire to be totally independent.
That can be a challenge for many of us who are used to being self-sufficient. In our Western society independence is something that is prized and encouraged and it is what many of us seek to achieve. We get a job to pay our way, we live on our own, we do our own cleaning, accounts, washing, shopping, DIY and cooking (even if that is only warming something in the microwave). We take that same independent behaviour into our relationships and we’re keen not to be a burden to anyone. In the survey I did for my book Inside Out, 43 per cent of people said they would rather sort out their problems on their own than ask for help.
But I am not sure that is how God made us to function. Of course, there will be people who prefer their own company (23 per cent from the survey) but even the introverts among us could do with others in our lives whom we can care for and know and who can know and care for us. There are proven psychological benefits from having at least one or two close relationships in our lives.
Instead of independence it is much healthier to live interdependently. When we are interdependent we are prepared to ask people for help and to help people when they need us. We open ourselves up to others and allow others to open themselves up to us. We walk through life together rather than on our own. We build bridges to each other’s islands. We learn from each other, we encourage each other, we support each other, we care for each other, we have fun together, we build memories together and we help each other to grow. We realise we are stronger and better as two or more than we are on our own.
I love how in the book of Romans in the New Testament Paul reminds us to love, honour, be devoted to, accept, greet and live in harmony with one another. We are met to interact with each other and be interdependent.
Interdependence isn’t the same as dependence. Dependence is when we have to have someone in our lives whatever the cost. It is when we need other people to function and to feel ourselves. Just like independence, it isn’t a healthy way of living. Other people will never be able to meet all our needs or desires and expecting them to do so will only leave us disappointed. The more we cling to others and demand that they love us the more likely we are to lose their respect and our connection with them.
Connection is an amazing and precious thing. It is given freely and taken freely. It cannot be forced, demanded or manufactured. And we cannot expect our connections to just happen and to endure. We have to be prepared to make deposits in our relationships. That means giving of our time, putting in the effort, giving of ourselves and also being generous with our money and possessions. It means sharing our most precious commodities with others.
We can use our time, effort and money to build bridges or we can use them to build a bigger and stronger fortress on our island. Which will it be?
Original Post by Christian today
WHAT DO YOU THINK?- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
If you are not a Christian, and would like to become a Christian. Simply say - "LORD Jesus, thank you for forgiving me of my SINs, today I am deciding to follow you. Accept me into your family, in Jesus name I pray. Amen "
If you still have questions , click here to Contact Us, we are here to help
Unless otherwise specified, the news and opinions expressed are solely the source's and author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Mail.