27 Jul Connecting with Purpose
Love is a fruit in season at all times,
and within reach of every hand.
~ Mother Teresa
Connecting is about garnering the “support and gifting” of the humans around you. We need to connect, because no one does anything alone! Just think about it for a moment. As each of us move forward in our lives, as we work to achieve our goals, there a always others who contribute in some way. It’s like when you see a turtle on a fence post, you just know it didn’t get that high by itself. It needed help!
We Are Created For Relationship
We are created by God to live in relationship, both with Him and with others. Your relationships are formed and maintained when you make and maintain loving connections with others.
Connectivity itself is a range of activities that focus on creating and sustaining connections with others. That sounds really technical, but it can be boiled down to focusing on others as you communicate with them. This might happen through active listing, empathy, compassion, shared activities, through your leadership, or through reaching out to the other person.
None Of Us Operates Alone!
Sound familiar? None of us operates alone. You need that connection with others if you want to live your life to the fullest. The act of connecting links you to others. What you need are specific actions you can take to ensure connectivity happens. An attitude of servant leadership is the first thing you need to enhance and improve your ability to connect with others in a constructive, purposeful, and meaningful way.
Authentically connecting with others has numerous benefits. Technology has led to a new problem in connecting with others in an authentic way. Self-focus, a pattern of behavior encouraged by excessive time on social media, is associated with anxiety and depression. Instead of deriving pleasure from your experience—say, your trip to Paris—your device becomes your main source of pleasure. Unwittingly, it makes you less connected and more narcissistic, and with that comes a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows caused by obsessive attention-seeking.
The Benefits Of Community
God created us to be in community with others. We are a community of believers. Part of the family of God. We are created as His children to be in relationship with Him and with those around us. You hear that a lot here because it is vital for each of us to be in relationship with others. It’s actually more important than you might realize. Studies show that loneliness increases an individual’s risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, cognitive problems, and other health issues.
Humans were created to need intimate bonds, someone to confide in, and we need to feel like we belong. God created us to need the support of others, and He created us to be able to support others. Strong relationships not only make us happier, they make us mentally stronger.
One way to form strong connections is through servant leadership. When you purposefully become a servant leader, the focus of your life shifts to the development of altruism, emotional healing, wisdom, support, and stewardship. This foundation facilitates empowerment and capability development, leading to a sense of community and an alignment of goals within your family, your close friend circles, in your workplace, and even in your new relationships.
Life isn’t an individualistic pursuit! You are participating in an interactive process involving hands-on action, and you must make an effort to include all participants. Communicating, listening, integrating viewpoints, taking action, and building trust are all critical to your success and your personal growth.
Be A Good Listener
If you don’t already possess it, or even if you think you do, I want to challenge you to actively work on your ability to be a good listener. Be sensitive toward others and give and take criticism graciously. Solid people-skills will take you farther toward growth and success than any other leadership trait! Or as President Theodore Roosevelt put it, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
Become A Servant Leader!
Jesus recognized the need to view personal development in a different light when He chose the role of a servant. He also demonstrated a foundation for equality in His actions, choosing to wash the feet of His followers. He demonstrated the importance of serving others and the equality in the roles they shared (John 13:12-15).
When you live as Jesus did, you can’t expect that you’ll receive reward or recognition. If you want to influence the behavior of others, and create a network of positive connectivity, you have to abandon that mindset! This is the lesson Jesus taught through His actions and through His relationships.
So are you ready to accept your role as a servant leader to meet the needs of those around you? If you are, you will connect with others more deeply that you could have imagined! Start with this personal affirmation: What I make happen for others, God will make happen for me!