Closeness to God and others is what life is all about. Life has meaning, fulfillment, and purpose in relationship. Some people have never experienced relationship as a good thing in their lives. For example, you may see dependency on others as being weak and vulnerable or have fears of abandonment. You may have been so disconnected that there appears to be no real value in connection. Where there is no hunger for relationship, it’s hard to value connection.
“God is love” (John 4:16). It is core to His character and being and He wants us to love and be loving, which requires relationship. When you seek others in your life, you begin to live life the way God intended it. Relationship is how we were created and will experience life to the fullest as we share our lives with others.
Relationships and connection require us to be vulnerable, to take the risk of connecting with others. Fear may be present, and ‘what ifs’ start to appear in your mind. You worry about things that are beyond your control. Pride can also lead to feelings that you don’t ‘need’ to connect. And shame, either your own or being shamed, can keep you from building relationships.
How do you connect with these challenges? Take the risk. Recognize it will require time, effort and will be worth it all. You don’t have to connect with every person you meet, and you don’t have to have an ‘army’ of connections. Start small and work consistently through the process—it might be attending a group—12 steps, Bible Study, book club. It will be uncomfortable at times and other times so rewarding.
As you work through these difficulties, you can learn to experience closeness as something not only good for you, but as the ‘highest good’ experience and position that God provides. Being in close relationship with God and others is a major factor in being able to give up things you are in bondage to, such as addictions, destructive feelings and poor relationships.
Surrendering your life to God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20) will help you create love for others and strengthen you to build real relationships in your daily life.