“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”- Ephesians 4:2-3
Relationships are hard. Whether it is a romantic, friendship, or business relationship; it takes a lot of work to maintain a healthy connection with the person or persons you are bonding with.
As we engage in relationship building, there are three fundamental practices we need to put into play as the process unfolds.
It doesn’t matter what type of relationship you are trying to enhance, these three tips might aid in creating a better connection moving forward:
1) Practice Being Honest: This might seem like a no-brainer, but let’s be honest (see what I did there), it’s not. We tend to embellish a bit when we are trying to impress people we are trying to develop a relationship with. If it’s in business, we blow up our portfolios. If we are trying to get a girl to like us, we hope she isn’t from our hometown and tell her about how cool we were in high school. The list can go on and on. Being honest keeps you from having to remember how you embellished any stories and you can keep moving forward without a guilty conscience. Honesty is difficult, but necessary to maintain a healthy relationship and kick it off correctly.
2) Practice Humility: Let’s face it; we don’t like people who brag on themselves all the time. So, why would we do it? One time I was told some valuable advice by my boss, “It’s better to let others pat you on the back, than to break your arm trying to pat your own.” It is alright to share about your success, but give recognition beyond yourself. Allow others to speak of your good things and allow people to learn about what you have done by asking you. Humility is valuable when you are trying to gain respect and help others see that you are willing to put others above yourself. It is not a weakness; but a strength and can serve you well when building a solid foundation in any relationship.
3) Practice Intentionality: Any type of relationship relies on focused time. We need to be willing to take time to invest in a relationship. If it’s a friendship, being intentional about calling or visiting your friend is an important part of your relationship. If it’s a new friendship you are trying to develop, even more focused time in trying to get together. A business relationship, intentional emails or updates on things you are doing. Of course, romantic relationships need intentionality. A text message is not enough with emoji’s and acronyms, lol, duh! We need to be willing to go a little out of our way if a relationship means anything to us. No matter what kind it is.
Jesus is the guide for all of these practices. Christ was honest with His disciples and gave them a clear message of who He was and is to them. He didn’t hold back the truth of God’s purpose for Him.
His humility drew His disciples closer to His message. He never took credit for anything, but gave ultimate credit to His Father. His humility allowed Him to let His followers do His work. He didn’t hold them back because He was “The Man”, on the contrary, He put gave them the power to do what He did because He was God.
He was intentional about His time. He prayed with His disciples. He ate with His disciples. He walked with them. He walked into their life. He went to their fishing spots to call them to the mission. He didn’t wait for them to find Him, but He found them and gave them a new purpose.
Relationships are valuable. We are created to be relational. These three practices will aid us in the process of establishing solid, healthy, true, and balanced connections moving forward.
QUESTION: Do you agree with these practices? Why or Why not?