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Connecting Like Christ

This month we’re talking all about connection.

My whole career has been shaped by three things: the fashions I’m feeling at any given time, my relationship with God, and the Brené Brown books that I’m reading. 

Brown’s books, especially Braving the Wilderness and Dare to Lead, have radically changed my life and taught me things about connection that I don’t think I ever would’ve discovered, or perhaps at least never put words to, on my own. I think her work is deeply important for Christians to read and interact with, because she helps us with the human framework necessary to embrace the kind of freedom and wholeness that God desires for us. 

A huge part of that framework is connection. 

One of my favorite Brené Brown quotes is: 

“ I define connection as the energy that exist between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.“

Brené Brown

Too often we get caught up in the weeds of relationship with other people – they annoy us, we question their choices, and sometimes we wonder what’s in it for us. 

It can feel like a lot of work. 

But we are not able to simply get our own personal relationship with God in order and leave everyone else to it. Like the Trinity, our foundation is a triangle – the connection that exists between us and God is also balanced by connection between ourselves and other people and other people and God. 

All three legs are necessary to support a firm faith. 

We must follow the Commandments to both love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. And the starting point for loving like Christ is connection.

Christ made it a habit to eat with people. He ate with all kinds of people – the Gospel tells us at length about how much the holy ones of his day disapproved of his free and easy eating habits. But I think that this tendency to eat with people was, and remains, one of the best ways to develop connection. Sharing a meal. Entering a home. Listening to how the day has gone.

It was these every day actions and entering into them with others that provided the foundation for the connection Christ made with people that allowed him to love them in a way that radically changed their lives. 

So here’s my challenge to you – how do you let others into your every day and allow yourself to enter that every day of others so that connection can be fostered?

If that’s not a part of your every day life, how can you add that in? 

How can you invite others into your life and except the invitation to be a part of the lives of others so that you can embrace connection the way to Christ did?