Lately, I have had a couple of thoughts about how I can better connect with others and what that “connectedness” might mean. I am hardly an expert on relationships mind you, so take my comments with a grain of salt. These come from one who’s not that good at it. I may appear to others to be a “people person” but actually letting myself be known by others is not something I do well.

Theory #1: I am wondering if there a connection between knowing others and being known myself? In other words, I am wondering if I can know others better if I work at being more transparent and approachable myself?

Jesus did this. He knew some and was known by others. He even had an inner circle of three (Peter, James and John) to which he could bare his soul yet we always think of him as being such a great listener (and he was!) I am becoming more and more convinced that being transparent and approachable is not a sign of weakness but being “an island” or “a loner” most assuredly is. Sharing what’s really inside and listening to a hurting heart are inseparable twins. Kind of like breathing.

One of the most remarkable verses in the NT is found in Matthew 7 where we read:

 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7: 21-23.

Notice that Jesus didn’t say “You never knew me” but rather “I never knew you!” Check out the verse. That’s not a typo. Jesus flipped the pronouns.

Maybe the connection here is obvious but the second theory I have may be harder to connect the dots. Here’s my thought: Is there a connection between the exercise of pursuing relationships with God and others, and doing the work of the Kingdom I.e. feeding the poor, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, etc.

In this passage, it seems strange that Kingdom inclusion is for those who come to God in honesty and integrity (just reading between the lines now) whereas Kingdom exclusion is the plight of those who hide from God.

If my theory has merit then it begs the following question. Is Jesus challenging us to connected living as a way to fulfill our calling to serve others?

Perhaps he is saying, “If you’ll intentionally connect with just a few others and share your life with them, you’ll be fulfilling my purpose for you and the Kingdom of God will be your dwelling place. I’ll open doors for you to feed hungry people and visit people in prison. Nothing shall be impossible to you because sharing your life with others is humbling and humility is the gateway to Kingdom living!

Something to think about.

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