BUILDING REAL RELATIONSHIPS

“He now showed them the full extent of his love.”  Jn 13:1 NIV

People spend hours every day on social networks like Facebook—in many cases because they’re lonely. Now, there’s nothing wrong with interacting with others this way. In fact, social media offers one of the greatest tools the church has ever had for reaching the world with the gospel. But in a day when it’s getting easy to neglect real relationships, let’s remember why we’re connecting with others in the first place. One author says: “Life is so much richer when we have friends with whom we can share our joys and troubles…Unfortunately loneliness remains a major problem and source of pain for many. But none of us need become resigned to loneliness; [it’s]…‘treatable,’ if not actually avoidable.” Real relationships aren’t built by posting updates, or tweeting and re-tweeting the most thought-provoking quotes. It takes more time than that. The greatest social networking involves meeting someone’s needs in a way that never would’ve happened without a one-on-one connection. That’s what Jesus did. Most of His public ministry was spent pouring Himself into twelve men who, in turn, went out in His name and poured themselves into others. The Bible says, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” The Psalmist spelled out the way many people feel today: “No one is concerned for me…no one cares” (Ps 142:4 NIV). If you want to meet people’s needs you have to get “up close and personal.” That’s what Jesus did, and He’s your example.

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