You guys. It’s been ages since my last post. Things have been pretty hectic. However, I’ve managed to finish two books! Yay. (Apparently, I have to give my undivided attention in order to complete a project!)
Because I’ve been such a terrible blogger recently, I’ve asked my Aussie friend, Annie, to step up and make a guest appearance. She’s an amazing girl, so please welcome her….
When Amanda invited me to write a post for her blog, she told me to write about “caring for people and being inclusive of them.” She said I had a gift for that. And I thought, Yeah, I guess I can write on that topic because I am pretty good at that.
This morning, before I began the task of writing why caring for people is important and why you should do it too, I decided it would be helpful to, you know, focus on God. Seemed like a good idea before sitting down and writing something which potentially could have a profound effect on people’s lives. You know, because I am so good at caring for people. Obviously.
So I sat down and opened my daily devotion, and this is what it said: Learn to relate to others through my love rather than yours. Your human love is ever so limited, full of flaws and manipulation.
Youch. He knows me too well. I was seriously going to try and take the credit for something he has gifted me with.
I’ve not always been the most academically talented person. Which is fine, I’ve always known that my gifts and heart lie elsewhere. Namely, building relationships and friendships, caring for people, being inclusive and wanting people to feel accepted into friendship groups no matter what.
I am passionate about it because I think friendship and community are key to helping people flourish and building their confidence. Friendship also provides a safe space for those going through a tough time.
I think a lot of us want to be better at friendships. In our current culture this can be hard. So here are 3 things you can do which can help you relate to others through God’s love:
- Get to know others
Let’s be honest, meeting new people can be super exhausting, especially if you’re introverted. It can feel a bit scary to introduce yourself to someone for the first time but, really, what’s the worst that could happen?
Jesus did that – he literally went up to people and tried getting to know them. Saying hello and offering your name is actually really easy. When you’re really attempting to get to know someone, the key factor next is asking questions about them. Their name, their job, where they live, what they do for fun. The key is keeping the conversation on them, and genuinely being interested.
- Invite others to join in
Having a party? Invite them along. Need a lunch buddy one day? See if they want to meet up. Want to try out the new boutique down the road? Get some mates together and check it out.
Jesus hung out with his mates ALL THE TIME. He traveled with them. He walked with them. He experienced life with them. All because he had invited them to come along.
- Share something deep
Once you have done the initial leg work, it’s time to open up. Be vulnerable. Offer parts of yourself to others to show you that you trust them. Of course, you don’t want to do this too quickly and you can choose what to share depending on what feels natural, but vulnerability creates connection.
There are times when I have shared some really deep things about my life with others I haven’t known very long, and it resulted in quickly becoming close friends.
Remember, Jesus modeled friendship and community to us. Humans are designed for connection. Real connection.
Let’s step up and start inviting others into our circle.