I remember when Ken and I were a young couple, we used to watch this show called “Thirtysomething.” And what I LOVED about that show was that the people in the show were such good friends. They would just come over to each other’s house all the time, and drop in like they were family, and spend time together. I longed for something like that in my life.
We all want deep sincere friendships. But it’s harder to build those relationships than it looks like on TV. Because I tend to be a performance oriented person, I can make interacting with people something I check off my list. I would like my motivation always to be a genuine concern for others. I still want the Thirtysomething dream.
- I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. Phil 2:20
I feel like God is helping me to make some progress. I am beginning to see how interconnected we all are. I feel like I will only do as well as those around me are doing. If they are thriving, I will thrive, and if they struggle, I will struggle too. It is not just me, I am not an island.
- “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” I Thes 3:8
So it was a victory yesterday that I was motivated to call and check on people because of this feeling of connectedness. I just wanted to touch base with them. I just wanted to hear their voice for a moment. I wanted to encourage them to be at church tomorrow just so we could be together.
Slowly, people are becoming more of my treasure. Don’t take me wrong. For years I have loved people greatly, and they are my joy. I just want for love to be more of my motivation, instead of performance.
Here are some of the verses that have helped me in this:
- As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. Ps 16:3
- I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now Phil 1
- But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Matt 5:44
- If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Prov 25:21
- Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
- Jerusalem, Jerusalem. . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Luke 13:34
- And (Jesus) said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” Luke 22:14
- He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matt 26:37-38
The truth is, it is good to be action oriented and accomplish things, but a goal orientation can obscure relationships. I just wrote my last blog about my desire to focus on the process, not fancy New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I don’t want to make goals in the new year. I do and I am. But I know that I if I’m not careful, I will focus on these goals to the point where I’m not focusing on God, who is the true SOURCE of everything.
In closing, I would like to post a picture of a REAL LIFE Thirtysomething. Christina Shaw, if you are reading this, it is YOU!!
This is a picture of Christina with two wonderful women she studied the Bible with and baptized, Corina and SeAnne. Christina didn’t just study the Bible with these women, she made them a part of her life. She exercised with them. She had them in her house. Their kids played together.
Like me, Christina struggles with legalism. But she is a great example of living out her love for others. I want to be like that more, where I take the time to just have fun and enjoy my friends! Thank you, Christina, for helping me see how to do that.
To God be the glory always!
“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. “ I Cor 8:1