31 Oct The ABC’s of building relationships … Always Be Connecting
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
Ever had one of those days?
- You missed your connecting flight, so it’s another night away from home.
- You let a customer down by missing a previously promised product delivery date.
- You just missed getting the promotion, but your best work buddy got it instead.
- You’re on the green in two, but miss an easy par shot and triple bogey instead.
- Your wife and kids tell you they haven’t seen you enough lately: they miss you.
Having one of those days, weeks, months, or years right now?
When we find ourselves missing out in any number of ways, we also often find ourselves missing what is arguably life’s most critical connection: building our relationships. It’s these relationships that bind us together even when things seem to come unglued. Is there a precedent for how we build our relationships by connecting with others? Yes!
A US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel I used to work for often characterized an organization’s momentum over time as either trending up…or trending down: it’s hard to maintain status-quo. In that wisdom, it seems to me relationships can often behave the same way over time: trending up…or trending down. In other words, our relationships grow through regularly connecting with one another or deteriorate when we ignore those closest to us. And it’s hard to stay even.
God recently reminded me of the importance of connecting with other men, when I met up with Bruce after a recent ministry engagement (please see above image). While our conversation began with us discussing our prior military assignments and duty stations, we soon progressed to more personal issues: the wonderful joys and occasional disappointments of our lives. Soon after this image was snapped, Bruce and I came together in His Name, praying for God’s guidance, provision, and peace for our nation and one another. And His glorious Name was lifted high!
So how can we do build our relationships?
Well, connecting with one another is easy if you simply remember the ABC’s of building relationships – Always Be Connecting:
Always…. Building relationships takes time, but it’s certainly time well-spent. By way of a sports analogy, if I connected with the people most important to me as little as I played golf – and I haven’t golfed in over 20 years – I’d be friendless and lonely. Like any valuable pursuit, always be engaged in connecting with others to build your relationships in Christ.
Be… is defined is the state of being. In the context of building relationships, the term “be” can be practically related to what many call, “the ministry of presence.” An example from the book of Job well-demonstrates this. After Job loses his 10 beloved children and practically all of his earthly possessions, and then subsequently suffers painful sores from head to toe, God’s Word enlightens us on how his friends ministered to Job. Specifically, Job 2:13 reveals that Job’s three friends “sat on the ground with (Job) for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” In other words, Job’s friends didn’t open their mouths (at this point) to dispense advice nor complain about their own issues. They recognized that supporting Job meant just silently being there for him. We can build our relationship through this same supporting presence as well.
Connecting… Jesus’ teaching emphasizes this point of connection. As He was instructing His disciples about relationships among those who follow Him, Jesus underscores the importance of connections in Matthew 18:20 (NIV), “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” How glorious to know Jesus is among us even as we meet in His Name!
Again, the ABC’s of building relationship are Always Be Connecting!
So, while we may miss planes, miss promotions, or miss a birdie putt, don’t miss this opportunity to build your relationships through connecting in Christ!
I leave you now with a straightforward challenge that can help you build your relationships in Christ.
Challenge: How will YOU connect TODAY with those who are most important to you?
Want to join us in equipping more men to connect through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Please click HERE.
On behalf of our board and serving Jesus with you,
Travis and Suzanne Zimmerman