People long for deeper relationships. I know I do. However, we can’t seem to swallow the most elemental principle behind living life together: it takes time. Instead, we stick to the convenient hand shake and rapid small talk after a Sunday worship service. We often expect quality relationships to be convenient, when Jesus certainly did not.
We interns are excited about Faith Baptist Church’s new theme, Living Life Together. We’ve had the opportunity to experience a bit of life together and we are already tasting some of its fruit. We are striving to sharpen each other. Just as Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, just as one man sharpens another.” Our idea of iron-sharpening-iron is to engage each other’s hearts in a way that will make us more useful for God’s glory. Iron-sharpening friendships are blessings we would wish for you as well.
The Key to Deeper Relationships
Why do we often feel closer to our friends from work than with our church family? The simplest answer boils down to time. We aren’t willing to sacrifice our tight schedule. I’m preaching to myself here. The only reason I’m becoming close to the other interns is because I’m forced to sit in an office with them all day, not because I decided to spend time with them.
How Did Jesus Spend His Time?
Jesus was a fan of spending time with his closest followers. He must have been a fan to be willing to drag them with him wherever he went. The twelve disciples not only listened to his preaching events, but consistently ate what he ate and slept where he slept. We can be sure they traveled endless miles together as they hoped from town to town. I would bet they stayed up late discussing Jesus’ teaching together and they were comfortable sharing life together. In fact, they became so comfortable that they fought about who was the greatest in their group right under the nose of their Creator! Jesus used that opportunity to show them the ugliness in their hearts that they had never seen. All that time together revealed their hearts in a light that small talk never could.
Of course, simply spending time with people won’t automatically result in great connections. After all, our most tense relationships are often with those whom we spend the most time (like our families). However, in an effort to keep the message of this blog simple and memorable, we will stick to one conclusion. Faith’s theme could equally mean: Spending Time Together.
A Springboard to Spending Time Together
If you are wondering how to begin spending time with people, here is some inspiration for you to come up with your own ideas:
- People have to eat three times a day. That’s three chances a day to share bread and life with someone. That’s 1,095 chances a year to learn about what God is doing in the lives of others. And not to mention the countless coffee and cookie breaks in between.
- Everyday chores could become shared experiences. For example: food preparation is a blast with other people who want to help. Washing the dishes or cleaning toilets can become excuses to interact with people.
- Football games are excellent excuses to have people over. Get the trash talk going and then ask what they have been learning lately. You might not even like TV, but you might like the fellowship around it.
- Serving at church? Perhaps a friend in need of discipleship could be your partner in crime… or rather your partner in service.
We’d love to hear your own ideas as well.
One Final Thought
Allow me to leave you with something to chew on: Do you ever wonder why your relationship with God is not growing consistently? Apply what was discussed in this post. How can we expect to get closer to God if we are stingy and inconsistent with the time we give him?