The Importance of Connection

March 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Warren M Mueller –

As I reflected on the tragedies of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Newtown massacre, I realized that those who did these crimes were described as loners or people without friends. This caused me to think about what isolation does to human thinking. I searched for an example I could relate to and thought of my daily commute to work in an auto. In this case, people are isolated from each other, and most of the time, I see the vehicle, not the person inside. It is easy to feel annoyance and even anger when others violate my space on the road by cutting in front of me. When standing still in traffic, I tend to look straight ahead because I do not want to interact with others who may be angry or frustrated. The result is that my view of others on the road is reduced to vehicles that are obstacles or are competing with me for space. This situation fosters low tolerance of actions that violate my space and produces thoughts of others as being rude and selfish which stimulate negative emotions.

Conversely, people who share values, goals or something in common tend to think positively about each other. A great example of this occurs among Christians because of faith in Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am amazed at how I can feel close to people with whom I have very little in common except our shared Christian beliefs. However, I find I feel much less connected to those who I see regularly but do not know by name or shared experience. There is a danger even in church of just being present out of habit or obligation which can result in going through the motions without mentally and emotionally connecting to others.

The Bible says that believers are to seek relationships or connections with other believers and meet together regularly (Hebrews 10:25 NIV). Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who overcame social barriers by connecting with others. Jesus loves us so much that he became human in order to connect with us and help us to become like him (John 1:12-13; 3:16 NIV). Jesus associated with social outcasts. He formed a network of followers to mentor and helped them develop a new identity based on his teachings, example, and relationships. His death and resurrection enable those who accept him as Savior and Lord to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19 NIV). This is the ultimate connection in life because it is the most intimate transforming the mind and changing us into holy children of God (Romans 12: 1-2 NIV).

Shared views and purpose produce loyalty and commitments to glorify God and advance his kingdom on earth. The result of loyalty is unity and love for God and for other believers. This is why Jesus said that others will know his disciples by their love for each other (John 13:35). Why then is there not more love and unity among believers in Christ? I believe the root cause is our failure to connect with others.

Practice connecting to those you encounter by thinking of them in positive ways. I have started to look at people in their vehicles and think of them as working with me to get back and forth to work each day. This has helped me to connect with them giving me greater tolerance and appreciation of our collective effort to return safely home each day. Look those you encounter in the eye and smile at them and think of something you share in common with them. This could be as basic as realizing we are Americans. It will help you be connected and discover something to love in every encounter in your life.

About Warren Mueller

Warren Mueller is a Christian author of books and articles based on what the Bible teaches as well as fictional books with Biblical themes. Among his books are Truth Seeker: Bible Topics and The Past And Future King which are both published by American Book Publishing. You can learn more about Warren and his writings by going to his web site at www.warrenmueller.com
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